South Australia is in for a rough ride: a new school policy has been introduced which enables transgender and intersex students to choose what bathrooms, uniforms, and even sleeping quarters they prefer based on with whatever “gender” they identify as their own. On the surface, this may sound similar to other known policies, but a closer look reveals far more drastic implications.
Unsurprisingly, the policy was readily welcomed by Safe Schools Coalition South Australia. Supporters churned out the usual arguments that the policy was necessary and that it enhances the wellbeing of all students, which is undoubtedly the justification being used to make it compulsory in all public schools:
Education Department spokesperson Ann-Marie Hayes said the policy was needed.
She said she believed it would benefit all students, not just those who were transgender and intersex. "We're just ensuring that our schools and particularly our principals, our school counsellors and our parents understand that there are particular ways that they can enact this policy and procedure," she said. "It actually supports the students and the families.”
Ms Hayes said the new policy was mandatory for all schools. She said the department expected the policy would be well received by students and families. "We often find that students are really welcoming of this, and parents and principals, and really that's where the policy started," she said.
While the policy supposedly encourages “consultation” with parents, parental consent is not required:
If the wishes of transgender students to “affirm their identity” clashed with those of their parents, the policy allowed schools to “assess the best interests of the child to ensure their physical and psychological safety and wellbeing”.
Rejecting as unimportant the concerns of parents who don’t want their children sharing toilets or change rooms or sleeping quarters with students of the opposite sex, the policy allows a child to use the facilities which match their gender identity:
According to the Education Department's policy, decisions about the use of toilets and change rooms should be made "in consultation" with students and their families, with safety and wellbeing a "primary consideration". ’Some possible alternative options may include use of disability or staff facilities,’ it stated.
Accommodation arrangements for transgender and intersex students at school camps and on excursions have also been revised. "The ideal situation will be for a student to access sleeping quarters that correspond to the student's gender identity if they choose," the document stated. "If this is not possible or appropriate then private or separate sleeping quarters can be considered."
There is far more accompanying this policy. For example, if a student is required by a school to wear a uniform or assume characteristics of the sex with which they don’t identify, the policy suggests the school could be found in violation of anti-discrimination laws. What is more, at “elite competition levels” for students aged 12 or older, schools are encouraged to seek legal advice before they decline any request for students to play with their “preferred” gender category. Of course, the policy mandates that schools fulfil any requests by younger students to play with their preferred gender teams.
Distressingly, this policy also enables students to choose whatever bathroom, change rooms, and even sleeping quarters on school trips – all in order keep transgender and intersex students from feeling uncomfortable (but no mention about the other students).
Don’t be fooled by language such as “wellbeing,” “safety,” and “anti-bullying”. This policy is an outright issuance of control over the education – nay, indoctrination of South Australian Children:
- The policy undermines parental authority: it enables students to transition without parental consent, if the school determines it to be in the best interests of the child. Simply put, this policy legally gives the school the ability to supersede the wishes of the parents.
- The policy requires that a person’s preferred name and pronoun be used by all staff and students. Taking it even further, the policy instructs schools to deal with staff or students who refuse to comply through the Department of Education Sexual Harassment Policy and the school’s Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.
- The policy points schools to the controversial Safe Schools Coalition for assistance. Enough said.
- The policy is mandatory for all public schools – teachers and parents have no say in whether or not the policy goes against their beliefs. Clearly, the preferences of transgender and intersex students are more important than the rights of all other involved members.
Pronouns have been called “discriminatory,” classic school uniforms have been deemed “potentially discomforting,” and calling boys “boys” and girls “girls” is no longer acceptable – it is punishable. This policy is just an even more aggressive step to slashing parental rights in order to indoctrinate children with a radical gender ideology. These policies are not meant to protect children. Any policy that gives a school the ability to overrule parental rights is transparent indoctrination is a direct attack against the family.
Right now, this policy is being introduced in South Australia. However, if we remain silent on these issues and do not take action, it is only a matter a time before such a policy becomes the law of the land. If the law is changed to remove gender from the marriage laws, the next step would be to remove it from schools. Who should be given the ultimate authority on children’s educational environment: the parents, or the state? That is the overarching question embedded in this policy. If such polices remain unopposed, we know what the answer will be.