WORLD Tiaras for boys in class just fine

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

BOYS as young as five should be able to wear tiaras at school with­out crit­i­cism, teach­ers in Britain’s Church of Eng­land schools are to be told.

Male pupils should also be free to dress up in a tutu or high heels with­out at­tract­ing any com­ment, ac­cord­ing to anti- bul­ly­ing rules sent out by the church yes­ter­day.

The in­struc­tions for the CofE’s 4700 schools said they should not re­quire chil­dren to wear uni­forms that “cre­ate dif­fi­culty for trans pupils”.

This ap­pears to give of­fi­cial back­ing to schools that ban skirts to avoid dis­crim­i­na­tion against trans­gen­der chil­dren.

Schools are also told they can­not use the Chris­tian faith or Bi­ble teach­ings to jus­tify be­hav­iour that is con­sid­ered to amount to bul­ly­ing – for ex­am­ple, iden­ti­fy­ing a trans­gen­der pupil by a sex other than the one they have cho­sen.

The ad­vice con­tains in­struc­tions on how to re­port bul­ly­ing, in­clud­ing sam­ple forms on which teach­ers are en­cour­aged to name the al­leged bully and their tar­get.

Ex­am­ples in­clude name­call­ing, so­cial me­dia trolling, or in­sult­ing ges­tures. The rules to “chal­lenge ho­mo­pho­bic, bi­pho­bic and trans­pho­bic bully- ing” fol­low ini­tial guide­lines from the church three years ago that said be­ing gay can be good and pupils should “re­vere and re­spect all mem­bers of the di­verse com­mu­nity”.

The of­fi­cial teach­ing of the CofE, how­ever, re­mains that gay sex is sin­ful and that mem­bers of the clergy should not be in an ac­tive sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with some­one of the same sex. The church also says mar­riage must con­tinue to be be­tween a man and a woman.

Con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian ac­tivists con­demned the new rules yes­ter­day. An­drea Minichiello Wil­liams of Chris­tian Con­cern – an evan­gel­i­cal mem­ber of the CofE’s par­lia­ment, the Gen­eral Synod – said: “These rules are un­kind, unlov­ing and lack­ing in com­pas­sion. We are all against bul­ly­ing, but the church is us­ing these guide­lines to pur­sue an agenda that runs counter to the church’s teach­ing.”

She added: “We are get­ting to the point where if you are not care­ful the slight­est slip from the cor­rect agenda in a Church of Eng­land school will get you pun­ished. The an­tibul­ly­ing agenda is aimed against peo­ple who step out of line – the anti- bul­lies are be­com­ing the bul­lies.”

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