Christian couple sues Church of England primary over transgender boy
A Christian couple is threatening to sue a Church of England primary school after a boy in their son's class was allowed to wear a dress.
Nigel and Sally Rowe withdrew their six-year-old son from the school and will educate him at home on the Isle of Wight along with his eight-year-old brother who was removed from the same school, according to the Sunday Times.
Sally Rowe said her son had become 'quite ill and stressed' when a classmate was allowed to wear a dress.
Nigel Rowe said: 'A child aged six would sometimes come to school as a girl or sometimes come to school as a boy. Our concerns were raised when our son came back home from school saying he was confused as to why and how a boy was now a girl.
'We believe it is wrong to encourage very young children to embrace transgenderism. Boys are boys and girls are girls. 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 denied they were transphobic and said it was 'simply not the case' they were demonstrating prejudice in a campaign video for the lobby group Christian Concern.
They will argue the school, which is unnamed, failed to consult parents, had not acted with the best interests of their son in mind and not respected their rights to raise their child according to biblical values.
The school says it was following CofE guidance and added transgender children were protected under the Equalities Act 2010. East Sussex county council's guidance on transgender children makes clear they should not be treated as a problem but 'as an opportunity to enrich the school community and to challenge gender stereotypes and norms on a wider scale', the school added.
The couple's lawyers at Christian Concern are expected to argue the school is wrong to rely on the Equalities Act because it only protects transgender people over 18.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the charity, said: 'This new transgender ideology is being aggressively imposed on unsuspecting schools, parents and children. It is delusional and abusive. School classrooms, which should be one of the safest environments for children, are rapidly becoming dangerous battlefields in a war brought on by a radical transgender ideology. Vulnerable children are being used as pawns and will be harmed the most. We need to call it what it is.'
A Diocese of Portsmouth spokesman said: 'Our schools are inclusive, safe spaces where pupils learn to respect diversity of all kinds. We comply with the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and believe that all should feel welcomed, valued and nurtured as part of a learning community.'