A Christian couple are taking legal action against the government because their child was “confused” about another child wearing a dress.
Nigel and Sally Rowe claim that their then six-year-old son came from school four years ago “confused as to why a boy was now a girl”, because a gender-diverse child in his class would sometimes switch between traditionally “masculine” and “feminine” clothes.
Instead of talking to their child about gender and gender expression, they pulled him out of his Church of England primary school on the Isle of Wight and chose to homeschool him.
They previously took their older son out of the same school when a classmate came out as a trans girl, because he was confused “to the point of being unwell and stressed”.
Now, backed by the Christian Legal Centre, the Rowes are taking legal action.
They specifically object to the local authority’s adoption of the Cornwall Schools Transgender Guidance, which aims to give inclusive advice to teachers and governors on trans issues, promote “inclusion for all within education by improving services for trans children and students”, and empower supporters of trans students.
The guidelines emphasise that it is “extremely important, as a matter of fairness, respect and inclusion, to ensure that the correct gender, name and pronouns are used uniformly to address trans people” and that trans students should “should be able to wear the uniform of their true gender”. It also recommends that gender-neutral toilets should be available.
But the couple are seeking a judicial review, claiming there has been a “failure” by ministers to challenge the guidance because the Department for Education refused to intervene in their case.
Nigel and Sally Rowe insist that it is ‘immoral’ for kids to make ‘life-changing’ decisions like wearing a dress
Nigel Rowe told The Times that he thinks the guidance should be replaced with something that “protects children from partisan materials that lead them down a road of irreversible harm”.
He said: “We believe it is wrong to encourage very young children to embrace transgenderism.
“Boys are boys and girls are girls… We took this action with heavy hearts, but having seen how this issue has escalated, we feel vindicated and believe the government must be challenged.”
Sally Rowe added: “Six-year-old children are not able or even allowed to make decisions on voting or having a tattoo, for example – it is therefore immoral to think that they can make such life-changing decisions at such a young age.
“As a society we are called to protect children, and these guidelines and the culture they are embedding in primary schools is achieving the opposite.”
A Department for Education spokesman told The Times: “We recognise that issues relating to gender identity can be complex and sensitive.
“Schools are best placed to work with parents, pupils and public services to decide what is best for individual children — and what is best for all others in the school.