13 July 2023

Ban cross-sex pronouns in schools

By Nick Fletcher MP

CS Lewis said, ‘When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind’.

That is how I felt when entering a government meeting and listening to a discussion about how to accommodate children who believe they are born in the wrong body. 

A damaging ideology has been allowed to capture the most vulnerable in our society – our children. Under the umbrella of a brightly coloured rainbow and a mantra of inclusivity, common sense, child safeguarding, and even basic science have been thrown out. How else can you explain some of the completely inappropriate, and in some cases disgusting, materials being used in Relationship, Sex, and Health Education (RSHE) lessons in schools? Some of these materials teach as fact that we all have an inner gender identity, others that there are as many as 100 genders. 

I have seen and heard too many good, kind, intelligent people either be captured by this nonsense – or bury their heads and say nothing – in the hope that it will go away. Trust me, we have seen enough to know that it won’t. Not unless those who oppose it stand up and say no.

Fortunately, through the works of many good people, the Government is carrying out a review into RSHE. New guidance must ensure that this material is removed and replaced with age-appropriate, fact-based, lessons.

I am also pressing for parents to have a right to withdraw their children from all RSHE lessons, as is currently the case with sex education. Why should parents have to know that their child is sitting through lessons presenting ideological, unscientific materials and be powerless?

The Secretary of State for Education has sent a letter to all schools stating that parents have a right to see this material and I would suggest all parents exercise this right with immediate effect.

But the next question is how we help children who have already come to believe that they were born in the wrong body.

In my mind there can only be one answer. When it comes to school, there must be a complete ban on anything other than the reassertion of simple truth. A complete ban on the use of cross-sex or other new pronouns. A complete ban on treating children as anything other than their biological sex.

Why? Because the use of cross-sex pronouns starts a child on a path of destruction. It allows them to begin a journey whose logical end is chemical castration and physical mutilation – a lifetime as a medical patient with complex needs and complications.  If this is the end result, why would we start anyone on this path? No fire starts without a spark. The spark is the new pronouns which normalise something that can have catastrophic results.

Parents, teachers, social workers, healthcare workers, are finding themselves in such confusion that they are affirming this path for children. I have to believe that many don’t want to – but they risk disciplinary procedures if they don’t.

In schools, the only answer to any of this is a complete ban. Then all those adults who are not strong enough to say no – or don’t want to say no – can blame the government for making the decision for them.

Biological sex is real, it is immutable and it matters. So no to new pronouns. Then no to puberty blockers. No to a lifetime of medication, complication, misery and regret.

There will be those who disagree with me. At present they are the loudest voices. But I am afraid if we don’t stand up to this now, in a few years’ time we might agree that this has become the biggest child abuse scandal we have ever seen. I will not be part of it.

CS Lewis was right in what he said. Those of us who have spoken out have been accused of losing our minds and called to turn around and join the crowd.

But I would rather live in truth. I would rather persuade more to run in the opposite direction and bring our confused children back with us to a safe place. 

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Nick Fletcher is MP for Don Valley.

Columns are the author's own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of CapX.