Parents Remove Children From CofE School After They Were Taught ‘Extreme Transgender Ideology’

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Parents have pulled their children out of a Church of England (CofE) primary school after the school showed a video teaching that kids can be born in the wrong body, which the parents say is at odds with their Christian beliefs.

Parents Calvin and Nicola Watts, who are being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, have removed their children from a CofE primary school in Kent, after discovering that their 8-year-old child and classmates were being taught about gender identity.

The family said that they were alerted by other parents that the class was shown a video of a reading of “It Feels Good to Be Yourself,” a book by Theresa Thorn, which introduces young children to the concept of gender identity and presents it as fact.

Aimed at 4-year-olds and above, the book uses terms like “sex assigned at birth,” “intersex,” “cisgender,” “transgender,” and “non-binary.”

The Watts said that it had been shown in class without their knowledge or consent.

‘Disrespected and Betrayed’

In a joint statement, Calvin and Nicola Watts said: “When we found out that extreme transgender ideology was being pushed on our 8-year-old without our consent, we were shocked and horrified.

“We felt very disrespected and betrayed as we had asked at the start of the year for our children not to be exposed to any LGBT ideology.”

“It is tragic that Christian parents can no longer send their children to CofE primary schools in confidence that they will not be exposed to extreme transgender ideology. The CofE appears to care more about politics than biblical truth,” they added.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said the video that was shown to 8-year-olds was “disturbing and utterly inappropriate.”

“The Church of England must urgently respond to the serious issues raised by the family. It is unacceptable that children as young as eight should be exposed to such harmful material,” she added.

Relationships education is compulsory in all primary schools. Under government guidance, schools must also ensure that their teaching and materials are appropriate with regard to the age and religious background of their pupils.

Though Conservative MPs have recently expressed concerns that “highly contested” theories such as gender ideology are being taught as fact, official transgender guidance for schools has been delayed until next year.

‘Valuing All God’s Children’

Writing to the CofE’s Chief Education Officer, Rev. Nigel Genders, the parents said they had originally wanted their children to go to a Christian school partly because “we did not want them to be exposed to transgender propaganda which we view as completely contrary to fundamental Christian teaching.”

The Christian Legal Centre alleges that the teaching of gender ideology is based on the CofE’s “Valuing All God’s Children” guidance, which is used by its 4,700 schools (pdf) to “challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.” Recently it delivered a petition signed by 15,000 Christians aimed at getting the guidelines banned.

In its section on primary schools the CofE says, “In creating a school environment that promotes dignity for all and a call to live fulfilled lives as uniquely gifted individuals, pupils will be equipped to accept difference of all varieties and be supported to accept their own gender identity or sexual orientation and that of others.”

The CofE claims its guidance does not say that children as young as 5 should be affirmed if they want to identify as the opposite gender.

In a letter in response to the parents’ concerns, the Chief Executive of the Tenterden Schools Trust, Stuart Reeves, who oversees the school, said he sought advice from the Department of Education, the Diocesan Board of Education, and the Association of School and College Leaders.

“I have also referred back to the law as it currently stands in relation to equalities legislation and the guidance that is given to schools by the Department for Education and also by the Church of England in this regard,” he added.

He said that after viewing this “resource myself, my opinion was that it was not appropriate for all children and some may well have found the material confusing at this age.”

“Having said that, there were two qualified adults in the room that were able to answer any questions relating to the story should there be any from the children. In hindsight, and in view of the sensitive nature of the topic, it would have been better to have checked the suitability of the resource with the Headteacher. This is something that will happen in the future,” he added.

“With reference to the potential promotion of gender fluidity I have found no evidence to suggest that this is happening at the school. I have, however, found evidence of the school adhering to the guidance set out by the Department of Education and that of the Church of England in particular which mentions, very clearly, that our role as teachers is to ‘help young people to value and respect everyone as cherished and loved by God, regardless of gender identity or sexuality,’” he said.

No Evidence

In an email to The Epoch Times, Reeves said, “While I understand Mr. and Mrs. Watts’ concerns, I have found no evidence whatsoever to suggest the promotion of any particular ideology in this school.”

“While we would not expect parents to see or approve all of our teaching resources, we appreciate the need for greater transparency and clarity around certain topics and will endeavour to achieve this in future,” he said.

“We remain committed to creating a culture of openness and acceptance across our schools, where children feel free to express themselves and to ask questions in the knowledge that they will be supported and cared for,” added Reeves.

A spokesperson for the Church of England told The Epoch Times, “Decisions on the teaching of Relationships Sex and Health Education, including the resources used, are the responsibility of the school’s governing body in consultation with parents.”

Owen Evans

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Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist covering a wide range of national stories, with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.



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