Theres much kerfuffle about the latest trans action plan issued by our great and glorious leaders.
I’ve no idea whats actually in there but what the papers are reporting on are children as young as 5 being given lessons on trans…how to be one…. how to fill in your ‘eye spy book of trans’…how not to bully people becuase if it etc etc.
Margaret Morrissey, of the Parents Outloud campaign group, warned against “pouring in to the minds of children issues they may not be able to cope with”.
“We have got to stop overloading our young children with the sort of issues that may never come their way,” she said.
“If it does become an issue when they are older then address it then when they are better to deal with it.”
What planet does she live on?
It’s like those statistic things that tell you how many hours of you life you spend on different activities like eating and sleeping and paying bills and sitting on the toilet and waiting for buses….. if you add up all the different elements you soon figure out you have exactly half an hour of none specific time usage in your life time. Use it well (I suggest a nice cup of tea and a piece of carrot cake) – or was that included in eating???
Or when you look at your expenditure in a week and times each item by 52 and realise you are living well beyond your means but somehow have never been in debt.
Educating young children…any children is like that … If you set aside a specific lesson for each thing the government deem ‘important’ …. like nutition… banking….LGBT issues… racial awareness… sex education… you pretty soon run out of school hours (maybe thats why the government thinks all children should remain in education until 18 now)!
These things aren’t specific.. and only need dealing directly with in extreme cases. You build these things into the culture of a school it takes very little additional time (maybe a policy to be written, some new resources)… but day to day…it just happens. As long as the adults involved are already in the right headspace about it.
Like good behaviour…. you reward the good and on the whole ignore the bad unless it gets REALLY bad and then you deal with it.
Inclusion happens on day one in the classroom when we say…. this is the way we behave in this school, we treat everyone with respect.
Beyond that if the ethos is positive and inclusive so will the children be… I remember when I worked as a TA in a school and the children used to tell me things like ‘boys don’t wear dresses’ or ‘men can’t love each other’…. I think my response was a straight forward ‘some of them do’.
At that age they are still working out their world view… and just being told that something isn’t a ‘definite’ is enough.
It allows for difference.
We are all different….
On a practical level every child in our son’s school has had the trans issue come their way. It may not carry with them into adult life that trans is normal…. but at least they’ll know it exists: and thats all it takes… that and knowing that different isn’t ‘bad’. I don’t ‘think’ its overloaded the poor little dears.. after all if we only taught children things on a need to know basis… most of the curriculum would be obsolete.
Interestingly our son doesn’t seem overly worried about the whole ‘trans’ thing but does worry about his parents being gay (maybe the effects of clause 28 linger on in schools)… I find it hard to believe that children still see gay as an insult. Doesn’t EVERY family have a gay friend or family member? Maybe not…. all the more reason to counter childrens assumptions about normality every sensible chance we get.
Children are incredibley broad minded if we allow them to be… its just about opening them to new ideas as opposed to shoving what we want in there.