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Boys with skirts: Principal changes uniform, tells students gender not “binary”

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A British private school will allow male students to wear skirts.

First off, a quick note. In Britain, public and private schools both refer to private schools. ‘State’ schools are the UK equivalent of US public schools. But for reasons of simplicity, I will apply the US distinction between public vs. private schools. Onwards…

London, England-based Highgate School educates children between 3 and 18 years of age, and charges tuition fees of $26,313 a year. Speaking to the Sunday Times newspaper, Principal Adam Pettitt explained the decision, “This generation is really questioning if we are being binary in the way we look at things.” Pettitt adds, “If they feel happier and more secure in who they are, it must be a good thing.” Highgate’s policy replicates that of British public school authorities now embracing gender-neutral policies.

But let’s be clear, these policies are not good for children. For a start, they disregard the fundamental difference between adults and children.

A brief science primer. Children are humans who are mentally and physically developing. Adults are humans who are mentally and physically developed. That biological distinction informs the need to treat children differently. In turn, an education must serve three ambitions.

First, stimulating the intellectual curiosity of students. This is crucial in developing citizens who have a lifelong interest in reading, learning, and thinking more effectively. Second, fostering a respect for discipline. Children need order. Absent respect for rules, they will gravitate towards negative behavior, hurting their opportunity for a better life. It is not coincidental that many American criminals grew up without discipline. Third, a protective environment that allows a student to focus on his or her development rather than external pressures. This means strong protections against bullying and the provision of extra-curricular activities. But it also means keeping education focused. A uniform helps greatly by imparting a sense of confident identity. A uniform reminds students that every day at school they are working towards a shared object: preparing for adulthood.

Telling 10-year-old boys that they can wear skirts doesn’t help that agenda. Supporters of non-binary educations claim they are helping children become happier with themselves, but they are doing the opposite. Children do not know enough to make major choice of gender identity. It is, for example, not coincidental that British boarding schools have a reputation for same-sex interactions. It is a function of the fact that for far too long, many boarding schools have been single-sex. As with prison, lacking interaction opportunities with girls, some boys make alternate choices. Many doing so are not actually gay. They are just confused.

Of course, it’s not just boys’ schools. As The Guardian reports, another prestigious London school, St Paul’s Girls’, recently introduced a new policy that allows female students to use male names and wear boys’ clothes.

Regardless, there’s a really basic struggle at stake here. Reality vs. hypocrisy. Opposing faith schools for their supposed anti-science agendas, while simultaneously telling boys they might be girls, liberal activists are masters of hypocrisy. As science goes, after all, few things are as certain as biological identity. Apart from a very small minority of humans who have male and female sex organs, boys are destined to become men and girls to become women. This is something children need to know. And something they need to feel confident and comfortable about knowing. Indeed, that need is existential! It takes a man and a woman to have a child. Absent those interactions, humanity would go the way of the dinosaurs. But thanks to the faux-morality anti-binary activists have injected into education, we are creeping towards a situation in which a ten-year-old boy is praised for wearing a skirt, and condemned for wearing trousers.

Ultimately, if a male adult wants to wear a skirt, that’s his prerogative. I am wholly supportive of equal rights for adults. But children have the right to grow up and then make personal decisions. Speaking up on this issue is urgent. As I’ve noted, non-binary activists see schools as their central front in their war on binary-identity. They know that it is much easier to shape the mind of a child than it is the mind of an adult. By getting in early, the activists hope to frame a child’s views for the rest of their life. There’s another word for that. Brainwashing.


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