A parent has voiced outrage after a Catholic girls school in the United Kingdom told parents that students are expected to use the preferred pronouns and names of transgender classmates.
According to the Catholic Herald, the headteacher at Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith sent a letter home to parents, explaining that "as a Catholic school" it must "promote greater wholeness for transgender individuals."
In order to do so, headteacher Marian Doyle told the parents that students should make transgender classmates more comfortable by "using the young person's preferred pronoun and addressing them with their preferred name, recognising their intent to live as the person they believe God created them to be, and refraining from any judgement."
Additionally, Doyle's letter cites the Equality Act 2010 to state that schools are required to "eliminate discrimination." It also notes that a Department of Education guidance requires schools to help prevent discrimination against kids undergoing "gender reassignment."
Doyle confirmed sending the letter in an interview with the Catholic Herald, saying that it is "part of a lengthy process of consultation within and beyond the school."
"Our community not only has a duty to uphold and maintain its charism but also to operate within the law, and as a Catholic school we must look to ensure we respond to different situations for young people, whatever they may be, with compassion, dignity and respect," she told the news outlet. "In this, we seek the guidance of Jesus' teachings in the gospels to support us in our response."
A parent, who chose to remain nameless, told the Catholic Herald that the letter she received from the Catholic school head was "dangerous."
"If the letter the headteacher sent out materialises as policy and practices, it will be very confusing for the young people at the school," the parent said. "I see it as a very dangerous letter."
Sacred Heart's decision comes as The Catholic Education Service, an agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, released a controversial e-booklet, titled "Made in God's Image: Challenging Homophobic and Biphobic Bullying in Catholic Schools," earlier this year,.
Critics have claimed that the document fails to explain the Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality and have also accused the document of lifting language published by LGBT advocacy organizations.
"One of the biggest problems with the guidance is that it undermines the moral authority of parents," Dr. Tom Rogers of the conservative organization Safe at School said in a statement. "The document gives several examples of interactions between children and parents where children are encouraged to see the parents as being 'homophobic.'"
Conservative Catholics are also speaking out against Pope Francis' new education book, Learning to Learn: Reflections on Education Issues, because its preface was written by Italian Education Minister Valeria Fedeli who pushed for gender theory to be taught in schools.
The Catholic Herald also reported that schools in the U.K. are facing added pressure to comply with the government's "British values" program.
It was reported earlier this year that a Jewish school failed its third inspection because it did not teach students about LGBT concepts such as sexual orientation and did not give pupils "a full understanding of fundamental British values."