Safe Schools: ‘rainbow ideology’ fuels sex switches
The Australian, September 2, 2016
Critics of the polarising Safe Schools program have stepped up demands for it to be axed after revelations several NSW students including a four-year-old preschool child have been receiving support with gender transitioning.
Australian Christian Lobby spokeswoman Wendy Francis claimed a reported spike in cases of gender dysphoria, where someone’s biological sex doesn’t align with their gender identity, had followed the rollout of Safe Schools.
“Safe Schools didn’t come in to address the problem, this is happening after the Safe Schools program has been introduced,’’ she said. “The thought that four-year-olds would be seeking to change their gender is madness. We are sacrificing our children to a rainbow ideology.’’
NSW Education Department deputy secretary of school operations Greg Prior revealed in parliamentary estimates this week a number of students were “going through gender transition in our schools, with the youngest being a four-year-old’’.
He said Safe Schools was only one resource used to support students, families and schools.
The four-year-old will go to kindergarten next year and has identified as transgender. The school initially registered on the Safe Schools anti-bullying site to access materials to help teachers prepare to assist the child.
Leading child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, who told The Daily Telegraph 250 children as young as three were being assisted by the gender dysphoria unit at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, yesterday said there was some confusion over what transitioning meant.
“If they are a little boy and they want to be a little girl they dress as little girls, they grow their hair long, they are called by another name. It doesn’t actually mean that they get any medical intervention, that’s something that they may or may not do as they grow older as puberty approaches,’’ he told the Seven Network’s Sunrise.
Lindsay Hale, the executive director of statewide services for Western Australia’s Education Department, said “if a family has had expert medical advice related to their child’s gender identity and the experts recommend the school puts arrangements in place at school, school staff will incorporate the advice into their planning’’.
In South Australia, confidential advice is provided to “individual schools requesting assistance to support a student to affirm or transition gender”.
In Victoria, guidelines are provided to schools to ensure they are safe and inclusive for all students who are same-sex attracted, gender diverse and intersex and help can come from school nurses, welfare officers and counsellors.
Last month, The Australian revealed the case of a 15-year-old child given permission by the Family Court to have both breasts removed so she could feel more like a boy.
The normal process for children diagnosed with gender dysphoria in Australia is for the child to start hormonal treatment to suppress puberty from age 14 or 15; and for parents to then seek the court’s permission for stage two treatment, where a child is given hormones of the opposite gender, from about the age of 16.