The Scottish government has announced that children from age four can now change their gender at school without their parents’ consent.
This was disclosed by the government under a guidance introduced in the country, directed to primary schools, where the youngest children are only four or five years of age.
According to the guidance introduced, the Scottish Government advised schools to support and listen to pupils who decide to switch gender, explaining that ‘recognition and development of gender identity can occur at a young age’.
It also tells teachers not to question a child who says they want to transition to live as a boy or a girl, and should rather ask for their new name and pronouns.
It added that all the teacher need to do when such case arises is to ask the pupil if his or her family is aware that he or she is considering to change their gender identity, but the guidance does not suggest the teacher contact the family of the pupil.
The guidance released by the government has been ‘shocking’ to many, as Primary and secondary schools were also told to put books featuring transgender people on the curriculum, in order to allow pupils choose which changing room or toilets to use, and consider introducing a gender neutral uniform.
The guidance document also states that no Scottish law compels people to use the toilets that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.
However, some groups have faulted the guidance, raising concerns that children are being allowed to make life-changing decisions at too young an age.
Marion Calder, director of the For Women Scotland campaign group, said: ‘To be transgender you have to have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. What are they thinking? Parents will be very concerned.
The advice says: “Some young people are exploring their gender identity in primary school settings. Primary schools need to be able to meet the needs of these young people to ensure they have a safe, inclusive and respectful environment in which to learn.
She added that, “children simply need to tell others informally that they want to use a different name, and that they don’t need to record this formally on their official school record.”