MUSLIM PARENTS – AND OTHERS – OBJECT TO VALE COUNCIL’S CONTROVERSIAL “TRANSGENDER TOOLKIT”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s “Transgender Toolkit for Schools”

Muslim parents are amongst those who have written to the Vale of Glamorgan Council objecting to the controversial so-called “Transgender Toolkit for Schools” – which is back on the agenda of the council cabinet next week.

The Transgender Toolkit purports to set out guidance for schools in the Vale on dealing with children who perceive themselves to be of a sex which is not that of their physical body.

There are already “unisex” toilets at St Cyres School Boys use the cubicles on the left – girls the right. Here it’s less of an issue for transgender pupils to decide which to use.

On April 30th the ruling cabinet of the Vale Council had authorised the formal adoption of the contentious document for implementation in all primary and secondary schools in the Vale.  However  some critics say the “transgender” issue has no basis in science or fact and is just a trendy fad being pushed and promoted a minority of  left-wing “progressives”.

Before it was authorised, the Toolkit was the subject of a “call in” by Cllr Dr Ian Johnson (Plaid Cymru Buttrills, Barry)  at the Vale’s Council’s Scrutiny Committee for Learning and Culture. It’s now emerged that at this meeting several letters from concerned local residents were considered – some extracts of which are as follows:- .

OBJECTOR  ONE: ‘ MY SON WOULD AVOID P.E. IF HE HAD TO GET UNDRESSED WITH SOMEONE WITH A GIRL’S BODY’

A letter from a Muslim parent expressed his concerns about his 14 year old son

In of the letters to the Vale Council a Muslim father of a 14-year-old schoolboy attending  a Vale secondary school says:-  “In my view as a father and a professional involved in children and families social work, the toolkit has failed to address the needs and wishes of natal girls, for example around sharing changing rooms and competitive sports. I also feel that it fails to give due consideration to child development theory and the changes and confusions around adolescence and puberty. I have a 14-year-old son who is going through physical changes and is worried enough about sharing changing rooms and has said that he would avoid PE if he had to get undressed with someone with a girl’s body in the changing room.”

OBJECTOR 2: THE ALLSORTS ALLIANCE : ‘THE VALE TOOLKIT ASSUMES PRIORITY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO  “TRANSGENDER” PUPILS – RATHER THAN ORDINARY PUPILS’

The protest group the Allsorts Alliance wrote to the Vale Council to say the Transgender Toolkit “does not give proper consideration to the impact on female pupils of the proposed changes.”   The writer says” We know that a large number of girls in schools experience sexual harassment [around 37 percent] and unwanted sexual touching [24 percent]. ….This should make issues around consent and boundaries a top priority for schools. However, throughout the Toolkit, the assumption is that the request of the trans-identifying pupil to use female spaces should be centred. [ i.e. boys identifying themselves as girls – and wanting to use girl’s toilets and changing rooms – should have priority over the wishes of girls]  There are no references to the rights of girls to sex segregated spaces.”

The letter goes on to say “the Toolkit offers several scenarios where a male bodied pupil identifying as a girl wishes to use a female only space. In each scenario, the burden of responsibility is placed on the girl or her parent to raise concerns. Staff are also instructed to “focus on the `problem’ being the person who raises the concern, and not the trans individual”. Even an assertive, confident girl might well find it difficult to speak up about her right to boundaries in those circumstances — let alone a shy or anxious girl.”

The Allsorts Alliance  says the Vale Council’s Transgender Toolkit  “really trivialises girls’ concerns. Females who have experienced sexual abuse or assault may not want any male to see them undressing. Feeling in control of their own boundaries — not being forced to share intimate spaces”

OBJECTOR 3: ‘IF THIS GOES AHEAD – HOW DO WE SAFEGUARD OUR CHILDREN?’

The views of a Penarth Muslim mother who wrote to the Vale Council

Another Muslim parent- with a  daughter in school in Penarth  – says she is “deeply concerned”  how this will affect her daughter and “her ability to take part in sports etc due to having the opposite sex using the same changing rooms.” I would definitely have to remove her from these activities, not only does it affect our religious boundaries it will affect our moral boundaries also.

The Muslim mother writes “My older daughter , along with 4 others were victim of sexual abuse by an older boy at their school. If this proposal goes ahead how do we safeguard our children? I feel very strongly that our children are not being considered , and that risk assessments and safeguarding of our daughters are not being taken seriously in attempt to appease the minority.”

She adds If these proposals go ahead we will have to remove our daughter from school and look to home educate. I know the majority of Muslim parents when made aware of this situation will do the same, which of course will cause a cultural divide amongst our children.”

OBJECTOR 4:  ‘CHILDREN CANNOT CHANGE SEX’: ‘BOYS AND GIRLS HAVE THE RIGHT TO SINGLE-SEX ACCOMMODATION TO PROTECT THEIR DIGNITY’

Another parent writes “As a parent, I want my children to be taught the truth about biology and sex, in whatever way is appropriate for their age. I do not want my children to be taught something for which there is no basis in science, that humans can change sex: they cannot. …   I do not want my children being taught about the concept of ‘trans gender’, at nursery or primary school, when it is quite outside their ability to understand. ….   Although I am aware that a few adults can suffer from gender dysphoria, I do not think it is appropriate for children to be taught about this condition, specifically, until they are in the last years at school.

She adds As a parent, I do not want my daughters to have to share toilet or changing facilities with boys, once they reach puberty. Learning to manage menstruation is challenging enough, without having to do so in close proximity with boys.”

The letter continues “It does not seem to me that proper consideration has been given, in developing the Transgender Toolkit, to the fact that ‘sex’ is a protected characteristic, under the Equality Act 2010. Both girls and boys have the right to single-sex accommodation to protect their privacy and dignity. It is absolutely unacceptable to me, as a parent, that any child should be allowed to use the facilities provided for children of the opposite sex on the basis of their `gender identity’ rather then their sex. Gender identity is socially determined and infinitely changeable, even over an individual’s lifetime; sex is immutable (cannot be changed).”

OBJECTOR 4: CLLR SIVARUBY SIVAGNANAM:  ‘IN A GIRLS’ CHANGING ROOM – IF A GIRL IS UNCOMFORTABLE CHANGING NEXT TO A TRANS BOY – IT’S THE GIRL WHO’LL BE REMOVED- NOT THE BOY.’

Cllr Sivaruby Sivagnanam (Labour St Augustines)

Vale Cllr Sivaruby Sivagnanam (Labour St Augustines) did not appear in person at the Scrutiny Committee but   joined those writing in protest to the  Scrutiny Committee about the Transgender toolkit .

Cllr Sivaganam says in her written statement :- “It appears that a girl will be removed from a girls’ changing room if she feels uncomfortable changing next to a boy who self identifies as a girl. It appears that in this scenario, the rights of the self-identifying transgender pupil are being promoted above those of the girl pupil.

Cllr Sivagnanam – who works Labour MP Stephen Doughty asks  “Has there been an equality impact assessment carried out in this scenario which takes into account the potential competing equality strands and protected characteristics, in this case sex and self-identifying transgender?”

She adds “the approach here has not been joined up and I think poorly reflects the Vale’s duty to promote equality for all protected characteristics” and – “as a lawyer” – warns that the Vale Council “may face the possibility of legal action.”

Cllr Dr Ian Johnson (Plaid Cymru, Buttrills Ward, Barry)

In the Scrutiny Committee meeting itself Cllr Ian Johnson, – who had “called in” the contentious “Transgender Toolkit” –  said he wanted to ensure that the Vale Council and others had the capacity to implement guidance given in the document. He also wanted to know whether or not the guidelines were “optional”as far as schools were concerned.

Ceri Lambert of Penarth mother of a transgender daughter was an “expert witness”

Three “expert witnesses” – all supportive of the Transgender Toolkit – appeared before the Vale Council Scrutiny Committee. They were  Lisa Power MBE, LGBT Historian, previous policy director of the Terrence Higgins trust and a founder of the organisation Stonewall, Lu Thomas Chair of PRIDE Cymru, local school governor and Equalities consultant and Ceri Lambert –  whose daughter Row Jones had begun her transition whilst at school.

Some members of the public had asked for permission to speak but,  unlike the so-called “experts”,  each was limited to a maximum time of 3 minutes:-

Ms. Sarah Tanburn  asked the committee to refer Transgender Toolkit back to the Vale Council cabinet  because  she was not convinced the council had a robust Equality Impact Assessment.

Ms. Sue Quinn-Aziz called the Transgender Toolkit  a “one size fits all solution”.She said the document was “silent on safe guarding guidance, health and safety assessments, fairness, gender neutral options.”   and said there was nothing in the Toolkit about tailoring the guidance to the ages of pupils

Ms. Carryn Williams said the Transgender Toolkit had given “no consideration” to the issue of girls when menstruating. Pupils such as those with autism might well lack judgement and require assistance in dealing with such matters. She too wanted the Transgender Toolkit referred back to cabinet .

Ms. Jennifer Charles who is a “trans woman parent” and a member of the Wales Equality Alliance, drew attention to self harming and suicide amongst transgendered people.    Ms. Charles said it is “wrong to stop a child from dealing with their gender issues” . Sh e thought that “trans children should be allowed to reassign gender if they wished to do and should receive support to do so.” 

Anne Greagsby of Allsorts Alliance gave evidence

Ms Anne Greagsby – of Allsorts Alliance [a task group set up to challenge the Vale of Glamorgan’s Transgender Toolkitwas later to  call the entire debate “rigged” . She stated  that the Transgender Toolkit “promoted a dangerous myth that children were born in the wrong body”

Mrs Greagsby said gender was a social issue and that children had vivid imaginations and they needed support in acknowledging changes in their body .Ms. Greagsby stated that she would not want to be referred to as “si” or “sis”  and she said that in the document teachers were being advised to address pupils in a manner which was not appropriate.

Committee chair Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell) kept interrupting an opponent of the Transgender Toolkit Anne Greagsby of Allsorts Alliance

On two occasions the Vale Scrutiny Committee chair  Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell) asked Ms. Greagsby to “refrain from making comments inappropriate and unrelated to the call-in.” .

Afterwards Ms Greagsby said that  she was interrupted so much by Cllr Burnett she “hardly got to say anything” and alleged that Cllr Burnett ( a strong supporter of the Transgender Toolkit and its aims and objectives) had included her own lengthy remarks in the three minutes allocated to Ms Greagsby.

The Vale of Glamorgan’s “Safeguarding Officer” has confirmed that a “second edition” of the Vale Transgender Tookit is currently being developed

Now the Trangender Toolkit is on the agenda for the next Vale Council cabinet meeting on Monday next week (June 18th 2018).

 

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17 Responses to MUSLIM PARENTS – AND OTHERS – OBJECT TO VALE COUNCIL’S CONTROVERSIAL “TRANSGENDER TOOLKIT”

  1. Frank Evans says:

    Come on Mark.
    Do you have any comments😁

    • Racist Mark (Mark Foster) says:

      Watch this and be prepared. You are fortunate you don’t live in a big city.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      The Leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland is the openly Gay.
      The DUP propping up Teresa May’s teetering on the brink minority Government are Homophobic to an almost Nazi degree and we dare to say it is our precious children that are mixed up.
      It is the bigots and zealots who need the therapy most
      The suicide rates and self harm incidents are still dangerously high in LGBT young people.
      According to a Stonewall in a Guardian Report————
      27 June 2017
      “Eight out of 10 trans young people have self-harmed and almost half have attempted to kill themselves, according to a significant new study looking at the experiences of LGBT pupils in schools and colleges across the UK.”

      A survey of more than 3,700 lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people revealed that while LGBT bullying has decreased in the last five years, its impact on young people’s wellbeing and education is profound.

      Nearly one in 10 (9%) have received death threats at school, while 84% say they have self-harmed and 45% have tried to take their own lives.

      . It also reveals the isolation some pupils feel, with more than half (53%) saying there isn’t an adult in school they can talk to about being LGBT. As 14-year-old Will put it: “I felt alone because I had no one and it scared me.”

      Others felt they had no choice but to leave, like George, 16, a pupil at a faith school in Scotland: “I lost confidence and the power to succeed and get the best qualifications. I left because I was scared and I didn’t belong in that environment.”

      Max, 17, meanwhile, endured bullying from his entire class. “For the first few months after I came out, entire classes would chant ‘chick with a ****’ at me; in PE people would pull down my shorts and pants, groups petitioned to ban me from using the toilets and changing rooms and joining PE lessons.”
      The Guardian 27 June 2017

      • Racist Mark (aka Mark Foster) says:

        Perhaps you can explain why there were no LGBT kids and people 50 years ago killing themselves. Are you trying to tell me that it was all swept under the carpet?

        What Britain desperately needs and I believe will get is a fascist leader who will go outside the democratic process, shut down the corrupted parliaments and councils and take the necessary action to clean it up, which would start off by jailing its proponents. Its the only solution. Given a free choice without the State Propaganda machine British people would of course support this.

      • Max Wallis says:

        there’s more recent stuff in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/may/15/transgender-row-teachers-afraid-challenge-breast-binding, mentioning Transgender Trend’s warning “of the risk of ‘social contagion’ from celebrity trans internet vloggers who glamorise medical transition” and that the lobby group Stonewall accused them of spreading “damaging myths, panic and confusion” – which seems exactly what Stonewall are doing with their bogus statistics. Why do I call the statistics quoted last June and repeated by Phil “bogus”? Because the responders to the Stonewall survey were self-selecting, the reporting and analysis were sub-standard in ways that have been painstakingly disected (transgendertrend.com/the-suicide-myth/). Stonewall has become a big lobbying business, chasing funding based on pursuing the “trans” cause. Hence irresponsible bogus statistics and personal (embellished) stories without regard for the ‘panic and confusion’ caused.

      • Max Wallis says:

        there’s more recent stuff in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/may/15/transgender-row-teachers-afraid-challenge-breast-binding, mentioning Transgender Trend’s warning “of the risk of ‘social contagion’ from celebrity trans internet vloggers who glamorise medical transition” and that the lobby group Stonewall accused them of spreading “damaging myths, panic and confusion” – which seems exactly what Stonewall are doing with their bogus statistics. Why do I call the statistics quoted last June and repeated by Phil “bogus”? Because the responders to the Stonewall survey were self-selecting, the reporting and analysis were sub-standard in ways that have been painstakingly disected (transgendertrend.com/the-suicide-myth/). Stonewall has become a £million lobbying business, chasing funding based on promoting the “trans” cause. Hence irresponsible bogus statistics and personal (embellished) stories without regard for the ‘panic and confusion’ caused.

      • Jennifer says:

        The LGBTI community includes lesbian and bisexual girls who have a right to sex segregated facilities, change rooms, sporting opportunities etc. that ensures their equality of access, privacy, safety and dignity. As the article points out girls are subject to sexual harrassment in schools, may be suffering trauma from sexual abuse or assault, and suffer body image issues, eating disorders, self harm, anxiety and self consciuosness at these vulnerable ages. Lesbians face particular discrimination and harrassment, often from boys who can’t accept their sexuality., including from boys who identify as girls. The rights of girls matter too. They should certailny not be painted as ‘bigots’ for having concerns about males in their facilities. That is outrageously unfair to them and to anyone else questioning these policies. These are legitimate concerns based in the right to sex segregation, particularly to ensure the equality of the female sex.

  2. Jp03 says:

    Such a shame that in trying to be humane the Vale has been targetted by religious and feminist fundamentalists! Perhaps the answer lies less in polemic and rather more in facilities – have some curtained off areas for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable being made to parade around publicly when getting changed for PE.
    There are some innocent sounding ‘toolkits’ on both sides, and I was surprised to see one publicised in a letter in this theme (obviously sent from outside of Penarth) as it is a well exposed front for parents who want boys to be boys and girls to be girls. Which. I guess, we all would if only life and nature were that simple!

    I don’t have any experience of this, nor actually know that I know any transsexual people, but I could well imagine that a little positivity could help them live their lives.

  3. Brickie says:

    Not sure the opinions of Muslim parents are any different from those held of any other parents. It seems a very ill-thought through initiative. Incidentally, the ‘cartoon’ depictions at the top look like freaks. Not clever.

  4. Chris David says:

    I was recently in a bar in Brooklyn where they had the right idea. Three toilets. One male one female and one whatever. Oh and they didn’t give a toss about religious considerations and so they tell me it works. Just an observation.

  5. David Day says:

    The preferences of the majority should not (in a democracy) be offended. The minority, in this case a tiny, tiny proportion of the population, have a claim to be treated kindly, to be tolerated and to be understood. They should not turn transform themselves into an identity-politics cause and compete for so-called rights with other minorities or with the majority.

  6. Max Wallis says:

    The cover page of the document (pictured) contains the dangerous statement “the body we are born into does not define who we are” plus pictures implying boy-to-girl and girl-to-boy changes are easy and happiness-making,
    I asked where the cover came from – answer: a trans-child drew the pictures and the officers prompted changes. Thus VoG officers endorsed the wording.
    The statement is not only biologically wrong. It illustrates how trans-advocates disregard disabled children, born eg. blind or with a brain-defect. They who shout about discrimination are themselve discriminating. More important, it cruelly misleads girl-tomboys who only too late after (illicitly) taking pubity blocking drugs, will find they cannot have sex-change operations to make them male (unlike the well-publicised men-to-women changes). What does this say for the Vale’s professional officers, who swallowed this trans-propaganda? And Cabinet members who would be expected to read at least the front cover !

    • Jennifer says:

      In itself it’s not a dangerous statement. Whether we’re male or female doesn’t define who we are as people. We shouldn’t have to change ourselves with medical treatments and surgeries to conform to a sex stereotype. Sadly that is precisely the message tbat transgender activists are sending to young people. If you look, think or behave in a certain way you might just be the opposite sex. It’s a sexist and regressive ideology that sets back the rights of girls, women, gays and lesbians in particular.

  7. When gay men and lesbians campaigned for equal rights, they didn’t demand the removal of rights for anyone else. Nor did they require surgery and lifelong hormone treatment to be their “true, authentic selves”. The T is a cuckoo in the nest of LGB.

    The trans lobby doesn’t care about 12 year olds dealing with their first period or about Muslim girls. They don’t care about shy boys who’ll stop P.E. if they have to share with a girl. So we must care for them
    .
    We have sex segregated spaces for good reasons. Let’s keep them.

    • Max Wallis says:

      right on – join us in the Vale of Glamorgan resisting the Council’s “Toolkit” for getting the cuckoo into our primary and secondary schools – new facebook group: women’s voice – llais merched.

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