Soon-to-be released guidance from the United Kingdom’s government will bar transgender students from competing during physical education (PE) against the opposite biological sex.
The Daily Mail reports the new government rules will apply to all state and independent single-sex schools in England, aiming to protect girls’ safety and ensure fair competition in sports.
The rule will not be in breach of the UK’s Equality Act, the outlet reported, because there are exemptions for competitive sports and schools are allowed to provide same-sex services if ‘objectively justifiable.’
Schools will also be told that transgender students must use restrooms or sports dressing rooms based on their biological gender at birth. Alternate facilities for these kids could be provided where appropriate, according to The Mail.
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Keeping Parents Informed
The move contradicts what has been happening on the other side of the Atlantic. The debate about parental notification has been raging in the U.S. in recent years as some school systems have been transitioning children to new genders identities without telling parents at all.
Safety and Fairness in Sports
Sources from within the UK government told the outlet it was unfair for biological boys who identify as girls to take part in competitive school sports against biological girls.
“In sports like rugby, it would be dangerous and unfair as biological boys are bigger and stronger,” one source told The Sun.
Teachers will still be allowed to have mixed PE classes for non-contact sports like tennis.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will release the new guidelines within weeks, according to The Sun.
“The Education Secretary is working closely with the Minister for Women and Equalities to provide guidance for schools in this area, following calls from schools, teachers, and parents,” a Department for Education spokesperson said to The MailOnline.
“This work is based upon the overriding principle of safeguarding children, and it will consider a range of issues.”
Couple Won 5-Year Legal Battle, and Govt’s Promise to Reform Trans Policies in Schools
Nigel and Sally Rowe fought a five-year legal battle to reform transgender policies in Church of England (CoE) primary schools after they and their six-year-old son were labeled ‘transphobic’ by a (CoE) primary school for refusing to ‘believe’ in transgender ideology.
The couple had raised their concerns when they found out two boys in their sons’ classes at the age of six were allowed to come to the Isle of Wight school identifying as girls.
The school had stated that it did not “require any formal medical/psychological assessment and reporting when a pupil seeks to be treated as transgendered.”
Last September, the Rowes were awarded £22,000 (more than $27,000 in U.S. dollars) in their lawsuit against the British government’s Department for Education. Represented by attorneys with the Christian Legal Centre, a project of the UK watchdog Christian Concern, the government decided to settle the case after the Rowes won permission at the High Court for a judicial review of the government’s transgender-affirming policies.
The couple won more than their legal costs. They got a commitment from the British government to reform trans-affirming policies in schools, according to Christian Concern.
“The new guidance must ensure that no more children come to harm,” the Rowes said in a press release last September. “Transgender affirming policies must end in schools and issues with gender-confused children compassionately and professionally managed outside of the classroom.”
“A child of primary school age doesn’t have the mental ability to work out what it is to be transgender,” the parents said.
“Promoting transgender ideology to children is harmful: it’s lying to children. Children are impressionable – and they look for affirmation. But when you’re affirming them to be the opposite gender, you’re lying to them. As Christians, we need to make a stand for truth – that is the loving thing to do,” the Rowes continued.
After getting the UK government to reform its transgender policies in schools, now the couple’s sights are set on the Church of England.
During the Rowe’s legal battle, the local Church of England diocese backed the local school’s position based on its “Valuing All God’s Children” guidance on challenging “homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying.”
The guidance covers the CofE’s 4,700 primary schools and says that children as young as five should be affirmed if they want to identify as the opposite gender.
As CBN News reported last October, the Rowes wrote an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury calling the institution to revise its “Valuing All God’s Children” guidance because it mandates children as young as five years old must be affirmed by church schools if they wish to identify as the opposite sex.
“Basic Christian teaching is that we are all created male or female and that the differences between the sexes are beautiful, designed and complementary, and should be respected in society,” the parents wrote. “We are all created male and female.”