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Senator: Irish schools helping children “transition” to other gender

Some Irish schools are helping children to “socially transition” to the opposite gender, sometimes without even informing the child’s parents, Senator Sharon Keoghan has told the Seanad.

The remarks were made yesterday during a discussion on child safeguarding in Irish schools.

“As the House will be aware, parents in Ireland have a right to be informed of issues relating to their children and to be consulted on educational matters,” the Senator said.

“Both the Constitution and the Education Act 1998 are clear on the requirement for parents to be kept advised of all relevant issues.

“However, I have been reliably informed this is not happening in a serious way, as there are cases of schools making logistical decisions relating to children under their care without the knowledge or consent of the child’s parents.”

 

Children identifying as the opposite sex

The senator continued: “This occurs when a child or children in a school tell their teacher they no longer self-identify with their biological sex and wish to be referred to by a new name and pronouns and to be treated, for all intents and purposes, as if they were a student who is a member of the opposite sex.”

She went on to say that “anywhere from 63% to 94%” of children who experience gender dysphoria will no longer experience such feelings by their late teens – but that serious damage may already have been done by that point.

“Those children are not well served by social transition,” she said, “which is a powerful psychological intervention, placing them on a pathway to puberty blockers and hormone therapy.”

Keoghan said that if a girl is given testosterone for just three months, “she will experience irreversible facial and chest hair growth for life, which is a tall price to pay for a decision made in one’s teens.”

 

Schools not telling parents about transitioning students

The senator said that, so far as she was aware, there is “no set national precedent” for handling such instances, and that individual schools are left up to their own devices when handling the matter.

While she claimed that some schools in these circumstances would arrange a meeting with parents so that their “wishes could be respected,” she added that this is not always the case.

“Other schools do not feel the need for this and take it upon themselves to socially transition the student from one gender to the other, sometimes without even informing the child’s parents, possibly for fear they may disagree with and object to this approach,” the Senator said.

This, she said, had serious consequences, particularly as regards the use of changing rooms and toilets of the opposite sex, as well as SPHE classes, and sleeping accomodation on overnight school trips.

She also said that this was taking place “all the while not telling parents of other children affected that this will be happening.”

 

Questioning the Minister for Education

“We must ensure the highest standard of care possible for all children, including the children themselves who may be experiencing confusion around their identity,” she concluded,

“It is time to have the Minister for Education before us in the House to explain her plan for tackling this most serious matter, which will become more commonplace in our schools and all our sports clubs in the country if left unaddressed.”

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