'Dangerous': Parent says CofE school teaching kids they might be born in wrong body

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A parent has appealed to the Church of England's Chief Education Officer, the Rev. Nigel Genders, to act over concerns about "inappropriate" and "sexually explicit" relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) lessons in his children's school. 

According to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting the parent, the unnamed Church of England primary school in Norfolk is using materials teaching children as young as 7, that some people can be born a boy but feel like a girl, while others might identify as 'pangender' — "someone who does not feel like a boy or a girl." It is also claimed that pupils are allowed to take part in pretend same-sex weddings. 

The parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported his concerns about the material to the school and an independent review hearing but to no avail, according to the CLC.

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He also asked the Church of England to intervene and explain why such teaching was being allowed in its schools. 

In his reply, Genders said it was for individual schools to decide on RSHE policy and lesson materials, and pointed the parent back to the CofE primary school in question. 

"I see that you have taken your concerns to the school, which is entirely the right and appropriate thing to do. The RSHE policy and decisions about the resources used to deliver it are the responsibility of the school in consultation with parents, having due regard to any advice from the Diocesan Board of Education," he said.

He continued, "Given that schools are seeking to do the very best for children as they grow in maturity and mindful of the high profile focus on this area in the media and elsewhere, it will be very helpful to have new guidance from the government on how these contested issues are handled within educational settings. We expect this guidance very soon.

"We also look forward to the review of how RSHE is being taught and the materials schools are using, as well as some clarity on the rather subjective question of age-appropriateness as it applies to teaching aspects of sex education.

"In the meantime, please do continue to be in discussion with your daughter's schools about your concerns."

The parent has since moved his two young children to a different school. 

He expressed disappointment at the response and accused the Church of England of "passing the buck of responsibility" to headteachers.

He said that some of the materials being used in the school were "wholly age inappropriate, sexually explicit, ideologically influenced, and unsupported by scientific basis."

"Teaching 7- to 8-year-old children that they can choose their gender (boy, girl, or not sure), and that they are only born 'like' a boy or 'like' a girl, but that it is how they feel inside that counts, is a highly contested and dangerous concept that is not grounded in established science," he said.

He accused Genders of failing to act to prevent primary children in CofE schools from being subjected to "ideological indoctrination" and "explicit sexualizing content."

"Furthermore, passing the buck of responsibility entirely to the headteachers, and waiting on updated guidance from the CofE is totally inadequate. Action is needed now to protect children. Are CofE schools that push this dangerous content CofE in name only?" he asked.

CLC chief executive Andrea Williams said: "We know children do best when they understand and are taught that they are made in the image of God and many parents want to send their children to CofE schools because of their Christian foundations rooted in biblical morality.

"How is it that the CofE education authorities and leadership shy away from contending for that truth and prefer to look to the state for guidance rather than the Bible itself?"

She said it was "another example of the Church of England refusing to support and defend Christians who raise concerns about extreme secular teaching on gender identity in CofE schools."

"For years, parents and teachers who have raised safeguarding concerns over the promotion of gender identity to primary school children have been ignored, disbelieved, and marginalized. No questioning is allowed," she said.

"Thousands of children are being indoctrinated with extreme gender ideology without the knowledge of their parents. The government needs to allow parents to withdraw children from relationships and sex education until the gender and political ideology has been rooted out of these lessons." 

Originally published at Christian Today 

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