Under pressure from left-wing groups, hundreds of schools across the UK are adopting so-called gender-neutral practices devised to “break down the binary division between male and female,” French news agency AFP reports.
Teachers are being instructed to avoid using terms like "boys" and "girls" and opt for more gender-neutral terms such as "pupils" and "children." Children in some schools are told to use “zie” instead of referring to their peers as "he" or "she."
Children of impressionable age are being encouraged to “explore their gender identities.” So far, more than 200 British schools have introduced a single uniform for boys and girls, the media report suggests.
French Broadcaster France24 covered this growing trend towards gender-neutral teaching practices in the UK:
With a push from campaigners and some parent groups, more British schools are allowing pupils to explore their gender identities in a bid to be more inclusive and stop bullying.
Cumberland High School, a sprawling establishment with nearly 1,500 pupils in east London, is one of hundreds of schools around the country that is taking steps to break down the binary division between male and female.
Cumberland has adopted a more liberal uniform policy that blurs gender boundaries and is adapting its infrastructure -- such as gym changing rooms -- in an effort to be more accepting.
"Changing is an issue for some pupils so we have gender-neutral changing rooms that anyone can use," said Jake Jones, a sports teacher at the school who is also head of the personal, social and health education department.
"I think a lot of our inclusive approach comes down to terminology," Jones told AFP, pointing out that teachers are being encouraged to avoid "boys" and "girls" and use non-gendered terms such as "pupils" or "children".
Church of England, the state-established church of the country, has not only failed to defend the traditional family values in face of this onslaught, but has been at the forefront of the campaign aimed at eroding gender identities. In October, the church issued teaching guidelines for ‘helping’ children “explore the possibilities of who they might be,” including their gender identity, British newspaper The Telegraph reported. The advisory was sent to all 5,000 schools administered by the church.
On a positive note, the grassroots backlash has also begun. Earlier this week, UK’s state-run National Health Service was forced to roll back a survey asking children aged 10 and 11 whether they were “comfortable in their gender” and felt “the same inside” as the gender they were born with, offering them three options, “girl,” “boy,” or “other.” The survey was scrapped after protests by parents and lawmakers.
These postmodern educational practices are already having their impact on young and impressionable kids across the UK. Empirical data suggests that increasing number of children are being made to question their gender identity. The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), an organization that describes itself as a “health agency for youths” active in the cities of London and Leeds, claims that its consultations have gone up from mere 95 in 2010 to over 2,000 so far this year.