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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Schoolboys can wear skirts under "gender neutral" guidelines recently adopted by the United Kingdom. In response, 80 schools and 40 primary schools are removing gender-specific wording from their dress code.
The U.K. government is funding a drive by "diversity campaigners" who are pushing for schools to be "tolerant" of children questioning their "gender identity."
A spokesman from Stonewall, an organization advocating for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders, told a local paper,
We welcome all efforts to support young people on trans and gender identity issues and ensure that they feel happy, welcome and accepted at school. ... No trans person should be forced to present in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. When this happens, it can be deeply damaging, particularly for young people.
Brighton College, one of England's top-rated private schools, founded 170 years ago, has also rewritten its dress code.
Richard Cairns, headmaster of the boarding and day-pupil school, said the school still has two different kinds of uniforms, but students are free to choose which one they want to wear.
"This change follows requests from a small number of families," Cairns explained. "It ties in with my strong personal belief that youngsters should be respected for who they are."
Julia Neal, chairwoman of the Association of Teachers and Lectures, a teaching union's equality and diversity committee, commented that there should be no space for "gender identity prejudice" in education. "It's about senior management teams and governing bodies understanding that there are a lot of facilities in schools that are separated," she argued. "If there is gender fluidity they need to understand the importance of gender-neutral facilities."
Allens Croft School in Birmingham reportedly is the first primary school to have "gender neutral" uniforms. The school is designated a "best practice school" by the charitable organization Educate and Celebrate. The Department of Education has given nearly $300,000 to this organization to offer equality and diversity training to staff in schools across the country.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, remarked, "We are increasingly seeing boundaries being overstepped and it is concerning."