The Church of England has said schools should encourage young children to experiment with their “gender identity”, in its new guidance on bullying.
“Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity (sometimes quite literally with the dressing-up box),” reads the latest church advice on homophobic bullying, which has been updated to warn of the perils of “transphobic” and “biphobic” harassment — using “HBT” as a shorthand.
4,700 schools, which serve more than a million pupils in total, were told by the Church of England Education Office to allow young children to experiment with their gender identity, in advice which said that primary school and nursery school children, in particular, must be a period of “creative exploration”.
“Children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgment or derision. For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the fireman’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment”, it reads.
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The Church adds: “Children should be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence. They are in a ‘trying on’ stage of life, and not yet adult and so no labels need to be fixed.”
Also endorsing the progressive message was Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who writes in the foreword: “Central to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God.
“We must avoid, at all costs, diminishing the dignity of any individual to a stereotype or a problem.”
Many experts have urged caution in the debate over “transgender” children, including Lord Robert Winston — professor of science and society and emeritus professor of fertility at Imperial College London — who warned that “a big portion” of patients come to regret the “horrendous” consequences of their transition.