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Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Parents Face Backlash for Opposing Church of England School's Transgender Policy

Parents Face Backlash for Opposing Church of England School's Transgender Policy

Nigel Rowe, 44, and Sally, 42, pulled their six-year-old son out of Church of England primary school when a fellow student began dressing as a girl.

They said to Phil and Holly: "To us that seems very young to start pushing an agenda at school". They're asking for the trans child in question to be taken out of the school and educated in private.

Hoards of viewers have tweeted their disgust at a couple who were guests during a debate on today's This Morning about whether it's okay for a boy to wear a dress to school.

Hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who pointed out that they had seen many transgender children and parents of transgender children interviewed on the show, were quick to suggest that it was important to let children to express themselves however they saw fit.

The couple told the Sunday Times: "A child age six would sometimes come to school as a girl, or sometimes come to school as a boy".

In a statement to the County Press, Isle of Wight Pride said: "Pride recognises that this is not an issue about sexuality whatsoever, but is about gender identity and regardless of anyone's views or beliefs there are children involved and affected by this issue which must be a priority".

"Gender dysphoria is something we as Christians need to address with love and compassion, but not in the sphere of a primary school environment".

The couple said under the school's bullying policy their son faced being disciplined for "mis-gendering" the six-year-old pupil.

Sally continued: "We want children safeguarded".

They believe the school's acceptance is creating "confusion".

The Christian Legal Center, which is supporting the Rowe family, said the couple were being accused of "transphobic behavior" due to their "refusal to acknowledge a transgender person's true gender", according to the Daily Mail.

She said: "I have a child who took a lot of bullying on my behalf and that bullying was exactly the same: it was parents saying "we have a right to an opinion" and they told their children their opinion, and having told their children their opinion, their children thought it was open season on bullying my son". The parents are now suing the school, which calls the parents "transphobic".

The family are being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

According to The Telegraph, a spokesman for the Diocese of Portsmouth, under which the school falls, said its schools are inclusive safe spaces which respect diversity of all kinds.

The school, which has not been named, said it had anti-transphobia policies and that children were protected under the Equality Act 2010.

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