Transgender trend ‘School resource pack’ – A teacher’s perspective –
The writer has more than 12 years experience in teaching, including head of year in secondary and within a SEND setting.
As a teacher my first question is who has written this?
Who are the authors?
Usually on resources you see a whole load of signatories, accreditation and endorsing organisations. Here there’s nothing.
How am I meant to use it?
It is not a resource pack (it contains no specific resources) and I can see no practical application for it.
Looking at the linked website, ‘about us section’, the organisation claims to be founded by a group of parents who have created a website and twitter account but have no other stated organisation purpose or role which gives them legitimacy.
The website ‘founder’s’ primary previous job experience is being an ‘accredited communication skills trainer’ (read bullshitter?).
She mentions she founded a school and worked in various roles in the classroom and playground. This implies she is unqualified (if she was a trained teacher or head, or worked as governor, she would surely have mentioned that).
Reading more of her blurb it quickly links to a website full of naff stock photos and seems to be motivated to sell a book, which seems to be self-published.
Doing a cursory nose around the website’s FAQ section, the first FAQ they have chosen to address is very telling:
- Aren’t you just transphobic?
- No, we believe that transgender people deserve the same civil and human rights as all of us and should not face discrimination. As the term ‘phobic’ literally means ‘irrational fear’ we want to make it very clear that we are not afraid of, or prejudiced against, transgender people in any way.
Given the amount of prejudice content they are pedalling this answer is an immediate red flag.
It’s a bit like a organisation’s website (which is full of material that advocates racism) including a headline FAQ of : “Aren’t you racist?” Happily responding with – ‘No I’m not racist because racism actually means this’.
On to the publication in question
Despite being formatted like an official guidance document, the prejudice and agenda which came through from a brief look of the website are easy to spot.
The document starts by stating that it was developed in partnership with teachers and child welfare staff, again this is tellingly unspecific.
In these days of academies and free schools employing staff without specialised training to teach, the term ‘teacher’ has lost some of its protected status, and anybody who works in a school during the day from cleaners to ICT technicians has to attend child protection training about prioritising welfare. So you can see how they might have stretched some meagre credentials. Critically, it doesn’t state ‘welfare professional’ or name any specific roles such as ‘Head of Year’ or ‘Safeguarding Lead’
The introduction sets out its goal to “Manage the (se) issues” of official transgender schools guidelines.
The following content on Page 5 titled “why is it needed” is clearly anti-transgender rights and is scaremongering.
It is full of sensationalist soundbites equating gender non-conformity with sexual orientation, highlighting increases in referrals to gender clinics, and even implying that the internet is not to be trusted as it causes something they name ‘rapid onset gender dysphoria’ (thank goodness for Net Neutrality eh).
I almost give up at this point, I am not going to be reading their list of fallacies or ‘case studies’.
Both the title and details of the section ‘Transgender, gay, lesbian, ASD or troubled teenager?’ is very offensive not least to children who have suffered abuse or who have ASD.
As schools we have been tasked by the DfE to promote fundamental British Values of:
- The rule of law.
- Individual liberty.
- Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
I don’t see how this document can fit within these modern values.
I see no way that schools would touch this publication with a barge-pole.
Schools are time and money poor, therefore no one will have the time to read it, or the money to print it.
The priority of school leaders is the safety of young people and ensuring that they make progress.
For teachers this means reporting concerns on to the correct person and spending hours preparing lessons, marking and reporting data.
This document includes bad, unsupported, advice coming from a website with a clear agenda of prejudice against the children it claims to support. Reading it is a waste of teacher’s time.
If you are interested on how the Transgendertrend document fits within a long history of anti LGBT hate campaigns you should check out this brilliant review on The Queerness By Teacher Annette Pryce and Psychotherapist Karen Pollock: