Christian parents in the UK have withdrawn their 4-year-old son from a Church of England school after his headmaster allegedly sponsored ‘gender identity’ lessons.
“It’s just a minefield and children shouldn’t be subjected to this program,” Father Stephen Evans told Fox News Digital of the gender debate.
Evans and his wife Joanne were among several parents who raised concerns when St. Mary’s, Prittlewell – a primary school in Essex, England – planned to teach young children from a book by Scott Stuart called ‘My Shadow Is Pink ‘, which they believed was inappropriate, according to their legal adviser at the London-based Christian Legal Centre.
The 2020 book, a record of which is available online, explores the life of a boy uncomfortable with male stereotypes and wearing suits. In the story marketed as suitable for ages 3 and up, the boy’s father tells him, “Your shadow is pink. Now I see that’s true. It’s not just your shadow, it’s your innermost you.”
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Political group Transgender Trend has criticized the book, arguing that it promotes the idea that altering one’s appearance by wearing clothes or changing hairstyles associated with the opposite sex can change one’s gender.
“Telling young children that hairstyles and clothes will change their gender and that other children will believe it is true is cruel deception, playing as it does on a child’s developmentally limited understanding of biology,” the book team said. “It’s a cynical trick to use on children who are at an age where imaginative play is most intense.”
The same author has also written a book called “My Shadow Is Purple,” which explores transcending the gender binary, according to the Daily Mail.
“It’s a cynical trick to use on children who are at an age where imaginative play is most intense.”
Offended parents believed Stuart’s book promoted gender confusion. The school reportedly did not consult parents when it decided to use the book to celebrate World Book Day earlier this month, and children were asked to dress to reflect on how they see their shadows and if themselves. Children were also reportedly encouraged to explore story themes throughout the day.
The school did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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Evans explained to Fox News Digital that children in the UK celebrate World Book Day in early March every year by dressing up as their favorite character from a book, but he believes St. Mary’s, Prittlewell used “My Shadow Is Pink” as a “stimulus” to encourage gender confusion.
“I don’t know why they’re trying to promote it,” Evans said. “I don’t know who is pressuring who. It’s a bigger problem than I thought. We didn’t realize how many parents had brought this up. We thought we were the only ones.” He noted that stories published in UK outlets about his plight were inundated with supportive comments.
“The point is, it’s not appropriate for 4-year-olds, and it’s not appropriate for a Church of England school to teach or promote it.”
Evans said her family is Baptist, but noted that other parents who are not Christians have expressed support for her position based on their belief that such material is not age-appropriate.
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“The point is, it’s not appropriate for 4-year-olds, and it’s not appropriate for a Church of England school to teach or promote it,” she said, adding that Christians in the UK are increasingly facing cultural pushback and politicians.
“The minute we say, ‘Wait a minute, this is different than our opinion,’ we’re homophobic or transphobic; we’re misogynists, we’re bigots, because we believe in one man, one woman. And our opinions are just washed away,” he added. “So we have to stand up and say it’s not right.”
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Evans’ plight echoes that of Calvin and Nicola Watts, who removed their three children from St. Michael’s Church of England primary school in Tenterden, Kent, last year over alleged “trans indoctrination” of children just 8 years old.
In her letter to the Evans, head teacher Aleishia Lewis cited “Valuing all God’s children”, the Church of England’s guidance for schools which according to critics opens the door to the success of children as young as 5 of the opposite sex, although the church has denied such allegations.
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The Church of England has faced rebuke from Anglican bishops in the southern hemisphere who penned a scathing letter rejecting the Archbishop of Canterbury’s leadership after last month’s General Synod vote to offer blessings for same-sex couples.