Schools being 'bullied' over gender identity policies - Family First

A lobby group says schools are not required by law to allow transgender students access to shared toilets, showers and changing rooms.

Source: 1 NEWS

Family First says it has obtained a legal opinion for schools that says limiting access to toilets and changing rooms based on sex has long been considered appropriate given the need to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for all students.

Family First NZ says limiting participation in sports teams on the basis of sex has also been about providing a safe physical environment particularly in the contexts of sports that involve physical contact and a physical contest of strength.

The legal opinion says it is "overly simplistic and incorrect to say that schools are required to give transgender students access to shared toilets, showers and changing rooms".

But, the opinion acknowledges that schools need to consider and address the needs of students with gender dysphoria in a reasonable manner.

We believe schools are being bullied into adopting 'gender identity' policies. - Family First director Bob McCoskrie

"This legal opinion will give important information to principals who want to act in the best interests of the whole school community without fear of breaching the law," Family First director Bob McCoskrie says.

Mr McCoskrie says calls for young people to have the "right" to use any toilet that matches their gender identity irrespective of their biological sex fail to consider the welfare of the whole school environment.

"Students with gender dissatisfaction must be given the very best support we can and handled with love and care, but ignoring biology is not a proper solution. To push the gender agenda in schools is a dangerous step to take."

Last week two Wellington colleges revealed they are meeting the needs of transgender students by installing gender neutral bathrooms.

Wellington High School was the first to introduce gender neutral bathrooms and Onslow College is about to upgrade some female toilets to a gender neutral space.

A recent survey shows 1.2 per cent of college students identify as transgender.