Christian parents in the United Kingdom have been awarded over 22,000 euros in legal costs and a commitment from the British government to reform transgender policies in primary schools, following a five-year legal battle.
In 2017, Nigel and Sally Rowe raised concerns with the Isle of Wight school, a primary school of the Church of England, where their young sons attended. The Rowes were disturbed that two 6-year-old boys in their sons’ classes were encouraged to identify as girls.
In response, Church of England officials wrote to the Rowes and explained that the school does not require any form of medical or psychological evaluation when a student requests to be affirmed as a member of the opposite sex.
The family was then given an ultimatum to accept the policy or leave the school. The Rowes were told by the school that they would be labeled “transphobic” if they refused to believe a transgender person is a “real” female or male, or if they failed to use a transgender person’s adopted pronouns.
As Bible-believing Christians, the couple felt that they could not compromise on this issue. The parents began homeschooling their children, which they say has been “a sacrifice but a blessing” for the family.
The Rowes continued to pursue their complaint and asked the Department of Education (DfE) to assess the situation. The DfE refused. In turn, the Rowes filed suit against the DfE.
In February, Lord Justice Lane of the High Court granted permission for the Rowes’ case to undergo a judicial review.
Rather than facing a full judicial review hearing, the DfE decided to settle the case and awarded the Rowes 22,000 euros in legal costs. The government has also agreed to reform its transgender educational policies, stating, “guidance for schools on transgender issues is being developed by the Department in conjunction with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, with a view to undertaking a public consultation on draft guidance in Autumn 2022, to which the Claimants will have the opportunity to respond.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which has supported the Rowes in their five-year legal battle, said: “Nigel and Sally Rowe were the first parents to expose transgender ideology in our primary schools five years ago.
“At the time, for their courage and determination to expose the truth, they were ostracized by their local community and faced personal abuse for daring to question policies which they believed were harmful.
“… Schools, local authorities and the Church of England have believed and enforced Stonewall’s lie that if you question an affirmative approach to gender-confusion you could be breaking the law.
“It has taken people of great courage who love Jesus and His teaching, like Nigel and Sally, to say that transgender affirmation isn’t right.”
The Rowes celebrated their win by giving all the glory to God.
“A civilized society should be protecting our young children,” they said. “The Scripture says in Matthew 18:6: ‘If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea’ (NIV). We are ecstatic and relieved that the government is taking this seriously and putting in place protection for our nation’s children. Praise the Lord.”
Photo: Courtesy of Christian Concern