A couple have caused outrage on Twitter after appearing on This Morning to defend their decision to remove their son from school because of ‘damaging’ school practises.
Nigel and Sally Rowe, from the Isle of Wight, have chosen to remove their six-year-old son from his Church of England school after teachers allowed another pupil in the class to wear a dress.
The family had already removed their eldest son, eight, for the same reason, and are now launching legal action against the school.
Hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who pointed out that they had seen many transgender children and parents of transgender children interviewed on the show, were quick to suggest that it was important to let children to express themselves however they saw fit.
But the Rowes argued that by allowing young children to dress outside of their assigned gender, the school was ‘imposing’ on other children who might struggle to process the change.
‘A child that young can’t make an informed decision,’ said mum Sally. ‘The statistic is that 98% of people who felt like that when they were younger, turn out not to be like that at all. I feel like it could be damaging.’
‘It’s a very social complex issue. For such young children, we feel it isn’t right. The reason we wanted to make a stand is that we believe a lot of parents throughout the UK would agree. We have got to think about the whole picture.’
Arguing against their point that children would struggle to understand a change in pronoun, Phillip responded: ‘Children can adapt remarkably well. If things are explained to them then they understand very clearly. It’s not an issue with the children, it’s an issue with you. You are the ones with the problem.’
Viewers took to Twitter to express their shock at the couple’s views, with calling the pair ‘transphobic’.
‘#ThisMorning these people are so transphobic… terrible attitude toward transgender,’ said one commenter, whilst another agreed: ‘Removing your children for school rather than using this as a teaching opportunity makes me so angry.’
‘Everyone deserves the right to be who they want to be,’ said a third. ‘These parents are what cause transphobic bullying in schools.’
However, there were some who agreed the parents were within their rights to remove the children.
‘Mixed feelings on the couple on #thismorning – they are ignorant but make a valid point,’ one admitted. ‘6 years old is too young to be making those choices.’
‘Like he said he’s just protecting his child, remember its LGBT or nothing these days and [your] not…allowed a opinion,’ another wrote.