New trans guidance for Scottish schools is 'harmful', says church minister


A minister in the Free Church of Scotland has criticised new guidance on transgenderism being sent out to Scottish schools.

The Rev David Robertson, a former Moderator of the Free Church, told The Times that the guidance was 'harmful and totalitarian'.

The document, called 'Supporting Transgender Young People', was partly funded by the Scottish government and was created in partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland and the Scottish Trans Alliance.

The guidance says that teachers should not inform parents of a child's desire to change gender unless the child has given their consent. Teachers are also advised to let them use whichever toilet and changing room facilities they prefer.

'If parents of other children voice concerns about their child sharing toilets and/or changing rooms with a trans learner, they should be reminded of the school's ethos of inclusion, equality and respect,' the guidance states.

The guidance also recommends that schools include gender neutral dress code options and PE activities, and allow transgender students to compete in sports events according to their gender identity.

'If school competitions or classes are organised by gender, a transgender young person should be allowed to compete in the category which matches their gender identity,' it says.

According to The Times, the guidance is being challenged by the Haddington SNP branch, based in East Lothian, which warns that 'transgender ideology' is sweeping across Scottish schools.

In a letter addressed to 'SNP parliamentarians', the Haddington branch said that the guidance was being adopted 'apparently without any consultation, evaluation or risk assessment'. It also said that many parents and teachers had raised concerns about supporting a child's wish to change gender regardless of their age.

The letter was welcomed by Rev Robertson, who told The Times that the Haddington SNP branch was 'quite right and brave to challenge the government's wholesale adoption of the militant trans agenda'.

'The advice in the guidance is harmful and totalitarian, and the adoption of the radical transgender agenda is an attack on women. It's about time that others spoke up,' he said. 

Earlier this month, Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney boasted that Scotland was to become the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded in the curriculum.

He said the Scottish Government had adopted all 33 recommendations from the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group on changes to the curriculum to include teaching on themes like LGBTI terminology and identities, as well as homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

The working group also recommended that the new learning resources 'include materials for all levels of the curriculum from early years to senior phase' and that schools be monitored on LGBTI inclusion.

Mr Swinney said: 'Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI equality. I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.

'Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.

'The recommendations I have accepted will not only improve the learning experience of our LGBTI young people, they will also support all learners to celebrate their differences, promote understanding and encourage inclusion.'