For several months, we’ve seen Canada’s progressive leaders demonize Canadian parents concerned about schools “transitioning” their children behind their backs with the worst sort of rhetoric, enabled by the vast majority of this country’s press corps. In that context, this headline in the Guardian – a very left-wing publication – seems significant: “Involve parents before pupils ‘socially transition’ at school, says NHS England.”
The NHS, by the way, is the National Health Service – not some lobby group. For context, this would be equivalent to Health Canada recommendations here. Here’s what they had to say:
Schools should not allow gender-questioning children to “socially transition” without their parents’ involvement, according to NHS training and guidance on how staff should respond to pupils exploring their gender identity. The new online module published by NHS England represents the first national guidance on how to support children with gender-related questions or distress in education settings…
The course states: “Recently, there has been a rise in young people asking to make a social transition at school or college without the knowledge or involvement of their parents or carers.” It defines social transition as allowing a child to adopt a new gender and might involve a school agreeing to refer to the child using a different name and pronoun, or authorising the use of different toilets and facilities.
The training module advises: “Supporting a social transition without the involvement of parents or carers can create complex difficulties within families and is not recommended. Secrets between parents or carers and their children are problematic and are likely to create further issues in the future.” It adds: “The priorities of parents and carers should be held as central, so that decision-making is collaborative.”
I quote that in full rather than summarizing in order to highlight the fact that this is a progressive press outlet covering an issue that Canadian media has been covering daily for months in a completely sane way. The U.K.’s National Health Service is literally recommending that schools adopt the precise course of action that premiers across Canada are opting for – and which politicians from Justin Trudeau to Jagmeet Singh are denouncing as a far-right attempt to push “trans kids” to commit suicide. Is the NHS, too, a “far-right” organ? Or have we in Canada perhaps completely lost the plot?
Indeed, the NHS has gone even further than the much-maligned Canadian premiers, noting that “social transition” is an “active intervention” rather than a “neutral act” and that “there are lots of unanswered questions from research in relation to the benefits and potential consequences of social transition on mental health and wellbeing.” That position, if expressed publicly in Canada, would immediately invite the opprobrium of a battery of activists posing as experts, union officials, politicians, and academics. Yet in other countries, that is the official governing advice from the top medical bodies. Anyone who accuses the NHS of being a “far-right” organ of some sort, by the way, is delusional.