Australia ignores the tragedy of Tavistock
12 August 2022
In the concerning world of Woke radical gender theory – where school children are taught that sex and gender are social constructs, not biological, and are encouraged to transition into the opposite sex, or anything in between – it looks like sanity and common sense might prevail.
The UK’s major gender transition clinic, Tavistock, has just been told to close after an independent review led by Dr Hilary Cass criticised the clinic for unsafe practices and for putting children and teenagers at risk.
As reported by BBC News, Cass is quoted as saying young people suffering gender dysphoria are ‘at considerable risk’ of experiencing poor mental health and distress as a result of transitioning and having one clinic was not ‘a safe or viable long-term option’.
Even more significant, at a time when Australian kindergartens and schools plus the Kids Helpline are pushing neo-Marxist-inspired gender theory, is the recent speech by the British Attorney General Suella Braverman.
Braverman, recently was one of the candidates in the race to be the UK’s next Prime Minister and one of the few true conservatives in an otherwise bland and lacklustre party, argues schools must stop uncritically pushing radical gender theory as is happening in Australian kindergartens and schools.
In her keynote speech given last Wednesday, the Attorney General states:
‘Schools have a duty of care in relation to the health, safety, and welfare of their children and they risk breaching this duty when they encourage and facilitate a child’s social transition as a blanket policy; or take the decision to do so without medical advice.’
Significant, unlike Australia where schools are being pressured to allow trans students to use the toilets and changing rooms of the gender they self-identify as, Braverman also suggests such schools have failed in their duty of care and might be open to legal action.
Allowing boys self-identifying as girls to use girls’ toilets and changing rooms, the Attorney General argues, represents ‘unlawful indirect discrimination against the female children’. The UK is not alone in questioning radical gender theory and allowing young people to take puberty blockers and undergo life-changing surgery.
Sweden and Finland have recently adopted policies warning about the dangers of puberty blockers and suggested, instead of giving the green light, children and teenagers should be counselled and warned about the consequences of undergoing such procedures.
The situation in Australian schools is the reverse where governments continue to allow schools to adopt gender fluidity policies. In Victoria, ‘Chairman Dan’ has legislated to make it illegal for doctors and health workers, as well as parents and priests, to counsel young people about the dangers of transitioning.
Australia’s Safe Schools program, supported by state and commonwealth Labor and Liberal governments over the last 5 to 8 years, tells schools students to have the right to determine their gender and parents need not be informed if a student wants to transition.
One booklet states ‘it’s up to the individual to describe what gender identity suits them best’ and another suggests students are primarily responsible for deciding their gender identity and schools can decide ‘whether it would be appropriate to involve the student’s parents’.
The principal of Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College was forced to resign because the school’s policy was based on the belief that sex and gender are biological and if parents want to enrol their children, they should accept the school’s policy.
More and more Australian schools, both government and non-government, proudly publicise they enrol transgender students and they are LGBTQ+ friendly and not guilty of being heteronormative and transphobic.
As argued by the UK transgender journalist and activist Debbie Hayton, it is wrong to discriminate against young people wanting to transition, she writes, ‘Indeed, trans children are children and they deserve the same rights as other children. That means they should be treated with compassion.’
Hayton, at the same time, fully supports Braverman’s criticisms regarding schools uncritically embracing transgenderism. Haydon writes, ‘For too long schools have taken advice from the wrong people, or simply made it up as they went along. Sex is real, and it is a protected characteristic. Braverman could not be clearer.’
A warning Australian schools and gender clinics in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane should not ignore as the primary aim of medicine must be to cause no harm and to ensure whatever medical practices and procedures are adopted are beneficial and safe.
Schools are wrong to embrace radical gender theory without considering the consequences. To do so, as well as abrogating their duty of care, is to open themselves to legal action.
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior fellow at the ACU’s PM Glynn Institute and the author of just released The Dictionary of Woke.