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Gender identity should not be taught in schools, says UK government

Photo: Oli Scarff Archives Agence France-Presse The government wants to “ensure that children do not learn things that are too complex or too sensitive to understand in primary school,” explained Gillian Keegan, Minister of Education.

France Media Agency in London

Posted at 12:26 p.m.

  • Europe

Gender identity, “a contested theory”, should not be taught in English schools, the British conservative government said on Thursday, which also wants to ban sex education for students under 9 years old.

These government proposals, announced a few months before the legislative elections, represent the first major revision in five years on sex education in establishments schools, a subject which regularly causes controversy in the United Kingdom. They must be subject to consultation before coming into force.

“Schools must not teach the concept of gender identity,” the government writes in a press release , speaking of a “contested theory”.

“There are a lot of contested views in this area…of gender identity, of gender ideology,” Education Minister Gillian Keegan said on Sky News television.< /p>

From middle school onwards, however, there will be courses on sexual orientation, during which gender change can be discussed.

< p>But “it is important that schools take a careful approach to teaching this sensitive subject and do not use material presenting contested opinions as fact,” the government insists.< /p>

Furthermore, sex education “will not be taught” before the age of 9, and then it will be taught “from a purely scientific point of view”, indicates the government.

The government wants to “ensure that children do not learn things that are too complex or too sensitive to understand in primary school,” explained the Minister of Education.

With the new guidelines, “children will be protected from inappropriate teaching on sensitive topics,” the government said. Parents will be able to have access to the materials studied in class, with the aim of “transparency”.

“Parents are convinced that when they send their children to school , they are safe and are not exposed to disturbing content that is not appropriate for their age,” said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, quoted in the press release. He said he was “horrified” by certain documents that may have been presented to children.

Education professionals shared their concerns after these announcements.< /p>

“We have not seen clear evidence that schools are currently exposing students to inappropriate content,” responded Elizabeth West, executive director of a group of 17 schools.

< p>“These rigid limits” on sex education could lead children “to seek information from less reliable sources”, worried Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the headteachers' union National Association of Head Teachers.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116