ISLE OF WIGHT — A couple in the United Kingdom has pulled their son out of school and plans to file a legal challenge after it was suggested that they might be “transphobic” for expressing concern that a boy was permitted to present himself as a girl on-and-off at the Church of England school their son attended.
“A Church of England school, especially, should hold to the biblical teaching that God created us as men and women, and that marriage is between a man and a woman, for life,” Nigel Rowe told Christian Concern, a legal group that is now representing the family. “The school should have consulted with all parents and taken their views into account, not just the views of one particular child’s parents.”
Nigel and his wife Sally explained that their six-year-old son came home confused after seeing another boy wearing boys’ clothes to school on some days and girls’ clothes on other days. The name of the school has not been disclosed.
“Unsurprisingly, we raised our concerns with the school when our son came from school saying he was confused as to why and how a boy was now sometimes a girl,” Rowe outlined. “The suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with our Christian beliefs as a family.”
The couple spoke to the head teacher, but the Rowes were told that teachers have accept how a child wants to identify or they could lose their job. The Rowes also sent a letter to outline their questions and concerns, and contacted the Diocese of Portsmouth, as well as the Church of England’s chief education officer.
However, the response from the school asserted that an “inability to believe a transgender person is actually a ‘real’ female or male” and “the refusal acknowledge a transgendered person’s true gender, e.g. by failing to use their adopted name or using gender-inappropriate pronouns” is “transphobic behavior.”
Jeff Williams, director of education for the Diocese of Portsmouth, also outlined in a statement, “Church of England schools are inclusive environments where pupils learn to respect diversity of all kinds. Like any other state school, our schools comply with the legal requirements of the Equalities Act 2010. Among other things, this requires schools to accept the wishes of children and their families with regard to gender identity. It would be unlawful for any of our schools to do otherwise.”
“Because our schools have a Christian ethos, we also believe that children of all faiths and those with none should all feel equally welcomed, valued and nurtured as children of God within our learning communities,” he said.
The couple was taken aback by the response they received.
“I am shocked by the suggestion, especially from a church school, that just because we question the notion that a six-year-old boy can really become a girl, we could be ‘transphobic,'” Rowe stated. “I cannot contemplate my six-year-old son being disciplined and stigmatised as a bully simply because he believes that another six-year old born as a boy, is actually a boy.”
The Rowes deny being transphobic, but rather desire to be biblical and God-honoring.
“As Christians, we believe that all people are valued and loved by God. But we also believe in the goodness of God’s created pattern of male and female. We certainly don’t have an irrational fear of those who are suffering from Gender Identity Disorder. In fact, we want to see them get the proper help that they need,” Rowe said.
The couple consequently decided to remove their child from school, and now also plans to file a legal challenge. The Rowes believe that the school is not considering the emotional and psychological effects that such an inculcation can cause long-term, in addition to the confusion that has already resulted.
“In basic terms, we believe it is wrong to encourage very young and vulnerable children to embrace the false promise of ‘transgenderism,” Nigel outlined. “As Christians, we believe that Gender Identity Disorder is something that needs to be addressed with love and compassion. But we cannot have a new ideology imposed on the primary school classroom. It is unfair both to the children in question, and other pupils and their families.”
The Rowes had pulled their eldest son, now eight, out of school two years prior due to the exact same situation. They now home school both boys.