It has been reported that Brighton and Hove City Council has written to parents across the city asking them to help their children choose the gender they “most identify with”. The letter asked them to leave it blank if they considered themselves neither male or female and was sent to parents preparing to send their children to new schools in September. Below the options, Brighton and Hove City Council wrote “we recognise that not all children and young people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth or may identify as a gender other than male or female, however the current systems (set nationally) only record gender as male or female. Please support your child to choose the gender they most identify with. Or if they have another gender identity please leave this blank and discuss it with your child’s school”
I'm proud my council is leading on #Trans work. If it helps even one kid be themselves or tackle bullying, then headlines don't matter.
— Cllr Warren Morgan (@warrenmorgan) April 19, 2016
This move comes after Blatchington Mill School in Hove sent a gender survey to pupils, with over 25 genders to choose from. However, not everyone is best pleased with the move as Tory MP Andre Bridgen told a national newspaper that the letter was “utterly ridiculous”. He said “Schools should be teaching kids to read and write, not prompting them to consider gender swaps”, but Emma Daniel, head of the council’s equalities committee defended the move saying that they were following its legal obligation. She said “We have inserted the additional text about gender identity n response to calls from families, young people and schools to show an inclusive approach. There are increasing numbers of children and young people nationally identifying as trans.” Councillor Warren Morgan also defended the move on Twitter.
This story has caused quite a stir across the country, with many people supporting the move but others speaking out against it. What do you think?
feature image: Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux via the Creative Commons license