A teenage girl who said that biological sex is real in response to a talk about transphobia was driven out of a UK school after fellow pupils attacked her for challenging the views of a visiting speaker.

A teacher at the school in question said the pupil was treated “like a heretic” for questioning a politician’s assertions about gender, and said that transgender ideology had “infiltrated” the school to the extent that the consequences are severe for anyone who questions it.

The speaker at the private all-girls’ school was a female member of the House of Lords to talk about tackling the issue of transphobia in parliament. The school has been described as a ‘Stonewall diversity champion’ – Stonewall being one of the most prominent LGBT charities in Britain, but whose programmes are falling out of favour recently because of their insistence that gender is a social construct rather than a biological reality.

The girl told The Times: “The language she was using was implying critical theory took precedence over biological reality in defining women.” 

She added: “When I questioned that, she said it wasn’t an issue of semantics. She said trans people don’t have basic human rights in this country. Afterwards I spoke to her and said I’m sorry if I came across as rude.”

The girl said the pair parted on good terms. But when she returned to her sixth form, she was confronted by up to 60 girls who ‘shouted, screamed, swore and spat’ at her. She says that she escaped and then collapsed, unable to breathe properly following the attack.

The Times reports that teachers at the school initially supported the student, but withdrew their backing after the other sixth-formers accused the girl of being transphobic.

After complaints from other sixth-formers, they ended up apologising for not maintaining a “safe space” in the sixth form. While the teenager returned to school following the ordeal, she was told by staff she would have to work in the library if she said anything deemed to be provocative in lessons. She also told the paper that she faced accusations of transphobia from pupils throughout the school and was bullied, forcing her to spend her break and lunchtimes in the library. The sixth former eventually felt her only option was to leave school in December, and she is now studying at home.

A teacher at the school wrote an article, ‘The Stronghold of Transgender Ideology in Our Schools’, published last week for the website Transgender Trend. John Rickards said that in his experience, bullying and defamation of character is happening in schools because some have views that are not in line with trans ideology.

Mr Rickards said:

“We know how these views are being silenced in the adult world through high-profile legal cases and the bullying and defamation of celebrities such as JK Rowling. This is also happening in schools.”

He added:

“There was a time when the school invited in Christian and other religious speakers to address moral and ethical issues and to provide food for thought and contemplation. It was usually the practice to follow these up with Q&A sessions during which the students could share their own feelings and opinions on the issues, and even disagree if they wanted to.

“It was probably somewhat naive of her not to realise that this is indeed ‘an ideology’ and one with which you’re simply not allowed to disagree.” The 18-year-old girl ended up denounced by other pupils in the school. He said: “It is quite chilling to witness first-hand how this ideology operates and grows.”

He added that: “It was the similarity of transgender ideology to religious fundamentalism that “alerted me to the danger of what has been going on in our schools over the last few years.

“It was the whispered and frequent use of the terms transphobe and transphobic during that after-school activity that alerted me to the depressing fact that these girls were going along with the narrative that our heretic was, as far as they were concerned, indeed a heretic — and that she was thoroughly deserving of the roasting that she had just received before caving in and running off in a panicked and hyperventilating state”.

The teacher at the school said that when he enquired about how the pupil was doing, he was told, ‘we’re not talking about it’.

He said: “When I enquired a couple of weeks back as to how our young student was doing these days (having not seen her around the place since the incident and also having a strong sense that I was committing some kind of crime by asking the question), I was asked firstly ‘why I wanted to know’. I was informed that she was; ‘no longer on the system’ – that ‘the matter had been dealt with’ and that ‘we’re not talking about it’. 

“[…] I wasn’t happy with ‘we’re not talking about it’ and have discussed it with several 6th and 5th form pupils (on an individual basis.) All admitted that they couldn’t really see what was wrong in what the girl had said on that day”.

In his account of the hounding of the pupil, he said that a group of sixth-formers arrived in an “animated state” following the speaker’s talk, with a “significant group of girls verbally ‘laying into’ one particular 18-year-old who had had the audacity to question the position”.

The teacher also said that since the incident, some of the students who targeted the student have “in hindsight somewhat changed their position”.

“It is both heartening and interesting that some of those fired up students on that day have in hindsight somewhat changed their position,” he said. “I spoke to one of the girls today who was at the centre of the ‘outraged’ group and who had taken on the role as chief spokesperson. 

“She admitted that they’d gone too far and that she regretted it. She also, without any prompting, added that she thought that there is a lot of ideology around the issue and that they should be properly debating these things. Good on her. Lets bring it on. However this would be too late to help the girl who was most wounded by this situation. The damage here is done.”

Speaking to The Times, the teenager at the centre of the trans row said she would have gone on to finish her A-levels at the school had the incident not occurred back in October. 

“It made me think I was mad,” she said. “Otherwise how could people turn on me so bitterly?”

She also told the paper that she never said anything transphobic but believed that some teachers were less willing to believe her because the other pupils at the school made joint accusations. She also said that the treatment she received from the school meant she was in effect forced to quarantine on her own in the library rather than spending time in the sixth-form centre with the other pupils.

The girl’s life has been “turned upside down,” according to the teacher at the school. 

“It was on contacting her recently through her mother that she said to me: “It’s so heart-rending to hear from someone who can be, as an outsider, aware of the injustice and plain absurdity of the situation. I spent so long convincing myself that I was in the wrong because I don’t even want to countenance the hatred people must feel towards me if that wasn’t the case – or how they can sit so smugly with themselves when my whole life was turned upside down,” he said.

According to the teacher, the girl’s mother said: “We were always sad to think that after all these years in the school, she left and nobody even batted an eyelid. We’re still picking up the pieces.”

Sharing The Times article on Twitter yesterday, J.K Rowling said the incident was “utterly shameful”.

Many on social media also came to the girl’s defence. One online comment read: 

“The headteacher should have the balls to suspend every pupil who intimidated and bullied this student. This type of behaviour must not be tolerated in schools, universities and work places. Freedom of speech is essential in a democracy and must not be censored. Biological facts are just that; facts! To state a man can become a woman is saying that unicorns exist as real creatures! We clearly need better biology teachers if pupils believe the twaddle coming from the transgender bullies”.

“Absolutely disgusting that the teachers did not support her and were more concerned about creating a ‘safe space’! , and even calling her naive for questioning this ideology! What about her rights and a safe space for her !!!” another person said.


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  • Niall McConnell
    published this page in News 2022-05-19 08:24:00 +0100
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