The mother of a child that was born as a girl but now dresses and identifies as a boy has hit back against a Christian couple who pulled their son from a Church of England school that allows transgender children. The mother insisted that being transgender is "not a choice."
Mienna Jones argued on ITV's "This Morning" show on Tuesday that her 6-year-old child Dexter has "more maturity" than Christian parents Nigel and Sally Rowe, who are considering suing the school in the Diocese of Portsmouth in question.
"I felt incredibly sad for their children. Second of all, I thought 'my goodness what sort of world is my son going to grow up in?' In this day and age I couldn't believe we still have this level of ignorance and lack of acceptance," Jones said about the Rowes' decision to pull their 6-year-old son from the school because it allows transgender pupils.
"There was something they said that upset me. As a parent who's living this situation since Dexter was 2-and-a-half — he's almost seven now — I don't know a human alive who would push their child down this horrific, life-changing road," she added.
"He could turn round in three years time and say 'I am a girl' and that's fine with us. To suggest we would force our child down this road, that's what hurt me."
The mother insisted that nobody forced Dexter to identify as a boy.
"When he asks 'mummy I was born wrong, when will they fix me?' That's not something any of us have ever said to him, that's something he feels," Jones added.
"The other thing they kept saying, I got the impression they thought being transgender was wrong. He made it feel like it's a choice. It's not a choice, just like being gay. Your child is your child."
The Christian parents have refuted any accusations that they are transphobic, and said that they want the CofE school to follow biblical principles.
They told Premier on Monday that their son was confused after another boy in class began wearing a dress.
"Our children first said 'they're a boy and they're my friend, and now I've got [to] say she instead of he,'" the couple explained, noting that it was not the first transgender case at the school.
The Rowes are preparing for legal action, saying there was no consultation with other parents before the school allowed students to identify as the opposite gender. They also slammed the "shockingly inappropriate" response they received from the Diocese of Portsmouth and the Church of England's Chief Education Officer over their concerns.
The school apparently lists "the refusal to acknowledge a transgendered person's true gender e.g. by failing to use their adopted name or using gender inappropriate pronouns" as "transphobic behavior."
Sally Rowe argued, however, that the school "should have provided support for the transgender child in a private way with people who are trained professionals ... and who can work through it with that child rather than just let it happen."
She added that transgender students in schools has become a national issue, and warned that dialogue is not being facilitated.
"It's like you're shut down, you can't speak what you believe because you'll be called transphobic ... which is not the case, so we just feel it needs to be an open debate," Rowe continued.
"It needs to be discussed without fear of being ridiculed."
She positioned that children need to be safeguarded, rather than being experimented with.
"It's a big thing. It has loads of different implications with bullying, what about changing rooms, what happens when they go through puberty?" Rowe asked.