Saturday 23 September 2017

Christian parents 'to sue school' because boy in son's class was allowed to wear dress

Mother claims clothing made her six-year-old so confused he became ill

Stock photo
Stock photo

Harriet Agerholm

A Christian couple are reportedly threatening to sue a Church of England primary school because it allowed a boy in their son's class to wear a dress.

The family withdrew the six-year-old from the school and will now educate him at home, alongside his eight-year-old brother, who was taken out of school a year ago after a boy in his class also began to wear dresses.

The boys' parents, Nigel and Sally Rowe, will argue that the school has acted without due regard to pupils and not respected their rights to bring up their children according to their biblical beliefs.

The school, which has not been named, said it followed Church of England guidance and that transgender people were protected under the Equalities Act.

Lawyers for the couple are expected to say that the school cannot rely on the Equalities Act because legal recognition of gender reassignment is only given to those over the age of 18, The Sunday Times reported.

In a video for Christian Concern, a campaign providing legal support to the couple, Ms Rowe claimed her eldest son became "quite ill and stressed" when a child in their eldest son's class wore a dress.

She added: "He was under stress partly because of the way he learns as a boy – he enjoys being outside – and also the confusion that was caused by having a boy in his class who decided to announce that they were going to have a girl's name and be dressed as a girl."

They said it was "simply not the case" that they were demonstrating prejudice against transgender people.

"There needs to be a different way of addressing this," Mr Rowe said. "A school environment is not the best place to be addressing this."

A Diocese of Portsmouth spokesman said: “Our schools are inclusive, safe spaces where pupils learn to respect diversity of all kinds. We comply with the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and believe that all should feel welcomed, valued and nurtured as part of a learning community.”

Independent News Service

Editors Choice

Also in Life