Students must use both the preferred pronouns and names for their fellow transgender classmates to promote a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, an all-girls Catholic school told its attendees.
The Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, London indicated that it had a duty to follow both Britain’s 2010 Equality Act and recommendations about fostering a positive culture for transgender students from the Department of Education.
Headmaster Marian Doyle sent a letter to parents announcing the policy changes and encouraging them to “promote greater wholeness for transgender individuals” by talking to their students about how they should treat and refer to classmates that don’t associate with their biological gender, Christian Today reported. The letter said that, as a Catholic school which seeks to love all students as God would, its mission is to help students accept whomever they feel they truly are in the eyes of God, rather than complicate or reject their identities.
“Every child at our school is made in the image of God and is nurtured and supported to know who they are and how best to make use of their talents. We are proud of them all,” Doyle said, according to the Catholic Herald. “Our community not only has a duty to uphold and maintain its charism but also to operate within the law, and as a Catholic school we must look to ensure we respond to different situations for young people, whatever they may be, with compassion, dignity and respect.”
“If the letter the headteacher sent out materialises as policy and practices, it will be very confusing for the young people at the school. I see it as a very dangerous letter,” one parent said, vehemently disagreeing with the letter and the new policy.
Sacred Heart did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about whether it would discipline students that refuse to use the correct pronouns or names for transgender classmates.
The school’s policy changes come after a British couple recently took their second son out of school after he faced disciplinary action for accidentally referring to his 6-year-old classmate as a boy, when this classmate had asked to be called a girl. Other schools across Britain have begun introducing similar polices in the past year, and that number has continued increasing after the Catholic Education Service issued guidelines on homophobic bullying.
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