Church of England schools will now hand out forms allowing students and teachers to report homophobic and transgender bullying. As reported by the Daily Mail the forms will be given to 5,000 schools in efforts to allow students to report teachers or any other adults who are perceived to be bullying.
A template form is allowing school staff 11 boxes in which to identify the kind of bullying they say they have seen or suffered and identify the perpetrator. Options on the form include “gender identity – transphobic;” “gender – sexist bullying;” “sexual orientation – homophobic;” “sexual orientation – biphobic,” alongside boxes for religious, racist and culture or class bullying.
CofE says that all bullying or ‘prejudice-related incidents’ should be recorded, similar report sheets will also be made available to pupils to fill in themselves, which they can hand to a member of staff or put in a ‘bullying box’ in the classroom. This is a part of the Church’s new campaign to stamp out transgender and other kinds of bullying.
While this move may be praised and celebrated by the LGBT community, Andrea Minchiello Williams of Christian Concern warned the guidelines infringe on religious liberty.
“Rather than taking the proper course of protecting children against bullying, this is the policing of thought,” she said. Anyone who questions this guidance risks being cast as a bully, and their career will be at risk. These people have become bullies themselves – they are pushing children and teachers to accept their ideology and think as they do.”
The world is changing rapidly and we can’t help but agree with Andrea Williams and can only sympathise with the teachers because of all the policing they are having to go through. We pray for all teachers who stand for truth and ask for God’s wisdom to guide them as there are so many loopholes and grey areas involved with this type of policing as seen earlier this month when Maths teacher Joshua Sutcliffe ran foul of his school’s equality policies last month after being accused of ‘misgendering’ a pupil. Mr Sutcliffe, 27, allegedly said ‘well done girls’ in the presence of a transgender student who identifies as a boy.
The pupil, according to Mr Sutcliffe, ‘became irate’, and he apologised. However, the pupil complained and Mr Sutcliffe was suspended for a week until a school investigation ruled that he had ‘demonstrated discriminatory behaviours’ and ‘contravened the school’s equality policy’.
These are very difficult times we are living in, may God help us.