Discussing women's rights could be 'offensive' as teachers' union seeks to change definition of transphobia

12 October 2022, 00:56 | Updated: 12 October 2022, 01:48

A draft policy by the National Education Union proposes a change in the definition of transphobia
A draft policy by the National Education Union proposes a change in the definition of transphobia. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Discussing women's rights could be considered offensive as Britain's largest teachers' union seeks to change the definition of transphobia.

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Teachers who discuss the issue would be considered "transphobic" under recent proposals from the National Education Union.

The union's trans and non-binary network suggested that anyone who expects trans people “to participate in discussion or debate about their rights and/or identities” is transphobic, according to the Telegraph.

The proposal, seen by the paper, also defined transphobia as "propagating ideas, concepts and misinformation harmful to trans people and which erase and ignore trans history, such as trans as an ideology or contagion".

Read more: Fury as school guidance set to include separate gender-neutral toilets under 'common sense' proposals

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A whistleblower close to the teaching union told the paper: "I am extremely worried by this. I’m from a Left-wing background and I hate this nonsense.

"We need free speech. Women need safe spaces. If this definition is accepted, anyone who says ‘You can’t logically self-identify as the opposite sex’, you’ll be a transphobe."

The source went on to say: "I think it will mean that teachers will be too scared to speak up in schools and they will go along with the NEU policy."

It follows previous reports that schools will be encouraged to accommodate transgender pupils under fresh "common sense" guidance.

The proposal was drafted after a resolution to define transphobia was passed at the previous NEU conference in spring, with hopes of finding a definition "that supports and endorses trans and non-binary identities without resorting to the erasure or downgrading of ‘gender’".

An NEU spokesman said the trans and non-binary network’s proposed definition of transphobia had been submitted for consideration by the union’s national executive committee.

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