Young should not be bullied for exploring their identity, says Church of England
Home âº News âº UKYoung should not be bullied for exploring their identity, says Church of England
No child should be bullied because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity, Church of England guidance warns.
Children should be able to try out âthe many cloaks of identityâ without being labelled or bullied, the Church of England has said.
In new advice issued to its schools, the Church said youngsters should be free to âexplore the possibilities of who they might beâ.
Nursery and primary school in particular is a time of âcreative explorationâ, it says, and youngsters should be able to pick the tutu, tiara and heels, as well as, or, the helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak âwithout expectation or commentâ.
Guidance for Church of England schools on homophobic bullying was first published three years ago, and has now being updated to cover transphobic and biphobic bullying.
No child should be bullied because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity, it warns.
Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes âprofound damageâ, makes children feel unsafe and put their education at risk, and schools must take action to tackle it, the guidance says.
It says that schools which âpromote dignity for allâ enable pupils to âaccept difference of all varieties and be supported to accept their own gender identity or sexual orientation and that of others.â
The advice goes on to say: âIn the early years context and throughout primary school, play should be a hallmark of creative exploration.
âPupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity (sometimes quite literally with the dressing up box). Children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgement or derision.
âFor example, a child may choose the tutu, princessâs tiara and heels and/or the firemanâs helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment.â
It adds: âChildren should be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence. They are in a âtrying onâ stage of life, and not yet adult and so no labels need to be fixed.
âThis should inform the language teachers use w hen they comment, praise or give instructions.
âIt may be best to avoid labels and assumptions which deem childrenâs behaviour irregular, abnormal or problematic just because it does not conform to gender stereotypes or todayâs play preferences.â
The guidance acknowledges that there is a wide range of views among Christians and people of all beliefs about same-sex marriage, sexual orientation and gender identity.
But it also says: âThe aim of this guidance is to prevent pupils in Church of England schools and academies from having their self-worth diminished or their ability to achieve impeded by being bullied because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.â
In a foreword to the advice, the Archbishop of Canterbury says: âAll bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes profound damage, leading to higher levels of mental health disorders,self-harm, depression and suicide.
âCentral to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God.
âWe must avoid, at all costs, diminishing the dignity of any individual to a stereotype or a problem.â
Double amputee who feared heâd never walk again prepares for sailing adventure
A double amputee is preparing to set sail on a global adventure after fearing he would never walk again.
Footage of the Beatles on location for Help! to go on sale
Unseen footage of the Beatles filmed more than 50 years ago is to go on sale.
Crowdfunding campaign to help preserve worldâs first iron bridge
Vital repair work is starting on the worldâs first iron bridge in a Â£3.6 million project to conserve âone of the wonders of the modern worldâ, English Heritage said.
Majority of rail passengers making a dash for doors â" even as they are closing
The majority of rail passengers try to get on and off trains even when the doors are about to close, new figures show.
Northern Ireland fail to qualify for World Cup finals despite spirited performance in Basel World Cup
Viable pipe bomb found at Omagh Remembrance Day cenotaph security alert -... Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland fans mark Remembrance Sunday in Basel Northern Ireland
Police appeal after spate of robberies in east Belfast Northern Ireland
Woman dies and baby critical after three vehicle crash Northern Ireland
Watch: Crashed Flybe plane skids to halt
Corry Evans in apology for wife's tweet
Nightlife: Bot Wednesdays 
Nightlife: Filthy McNastys for Faith Nov 2017 [photos]
From Belfast Telegraph
Ballymena's Christmas advert returns
Thir d of DLA claimants have benefits stopped
Christine Lampard wears white poppy - some people aren't happy
Down Royal Festival of Racing [Photos]
United Ireland inevitable, says DUP backer Katie Hopkins
UTV's Ken Reid reveals he's battling cancer
Stunning Aurora Borealis pics above NI
Anti-Catholic sticker removed from Northern Ireland council sign
What's most popular day for weddings in NI?
Run Forest Run: Minnowburn [Photos]
21 missing persons: The people who've vanished in Northern Ireland since 1962
Belfast Telegraph Digital Edition: Where can I find it and how do I subscribe?
An Evening With
Join two Manchester United legends for an evening in Belfast
Revealed: GCSE and A-Level league table results
Northern Ireland top 100 companies: Our guide to top-profit makers and employers
Northern Ireland Troubles gallery - conflict and b loodshed