Scottish children as young as four years old can now change their gender and names at schools without the consent of their parents.
A 70-page document issued by the Scottish government under the new LGBTQ+ inclusivity guidelines has given approval to children in the country to determine the gender they wish to be addressed, Daily Dates Nigeria reports.
According to the guidelines, teachers are now advised not to question their students if they indicate a wish to transition genders; Instead, teachers are urged to ask for the students’ desired names and genders.
Also, schools have been ordered to allow transgender students to use whatever bathroom or locker room they prefer.
In addition, the creation of more gender-neutral uniforms and the inclusion of transgender characters in lessons and reading materials are being developed.
In July, the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney in a statement, said, Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive nations in Europe.
Swinney said, “I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.”
The guidelines also state that there is no age requirement for “coming out,” adding that the views and requests of the young people must be respected—even if the students do not wish to inform their parents.
The official document read in part, “A transgender young person may not have told their family about their gender identity.”
“Inadvertent disclosure could cause needless stress for the young person or could put them at risk and breach legal requirements. Therefore, it is best to not share information with parents or carers without considering and respecting the young person’s views and rights.”
Meanwhile, advocacy groups have shared their support for the latest guidance, noting that the new policies would help students “thrive.”
Director of Stonewall Scotland and Northern Ireland (a U.K.-based organization supporting LGBTQ+ liberties), Colin Macfarlane said “Trans students deserve to be taught in a safe and inclusive environment, which is why the Scottish Government’s updated guidance on supporting trans young people in schools is so important. We hope that this resource empowers teachers and schools across Scotland to better support all young people to thrive, both inside and outside the classroom.”
Some are, however, against this as they see the changes as a “dangerous ideology” that schools are pushing on students.
Co-Director Of The For Women Scotland Campaign Group, Marion Calder said, “This is really, really worrying… The bottom line is that this is a dangerous ideology that the Scottish Government is pushing.
“It used to be commonly understood that children should be able to play and experiment with gender roles, with clothing, their likes, and dislikes.”
“Those children are now being encouraged on to a medical pathway, potentially for the rest of their lives.”
Scotland’s Education Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville, however, affirmed that the document is not attempting to “promote” transitioning, but merely to provide a student with adequate space and safety to do so if they choose.
Somerville said, “We know transgender young people can face many issues in schools and that teachers and staff must have the confidence and skills to support their mental, physical and emotional health.
“This guidance outlines how schools can support transgender young people while ensuring that the rights of all pupils are fully respected. It provides schools with practical suggestions.”