Cass findings should inform Scottish schools policy - Sue Webber

Dr Hilary CassDr Hilary Cass
Dr Hilary Cass
Let’s imagine the most vulnerable in our society were regularly exposed to unproven psychology promoted by unqualified people who believe their problems might be solved by drastic and potentially irreversible medical treatment.

​You’d think there would be an outcry and that politicians of all parties would demand to know who these people were. How did they get into this position? Who is behind them? How can this be stopped?

You’ll have to imagine the second part because until now there has been no such outcry, but the first part is happening right now in over 250 Scottish schools, including Kaimes special school in Edinburgh, where children with autism and learning disabilities are being taught “trans inclusive” programmes so the school can obtain “charter status” from LGBT Youth Scotland (LGBTYS).

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By its own admission, 65 per cent of the young people LGBTYS works with have mental health issues, but the charity also quite openly concedes it is “not a medical organisation or a care provider”.

So, how can such an organisation have got into the position where it can oversee programmes which can persuade children who already have complex issues that their problems are caused by confusion about their gender which can be solved by medical intervention?

The answer is simple, because the LGBTYS agenda has been advanced with the enthusiastic collusion of an SNP-Green Scottish Government in a thrall to trans-ideology and receives over £1 million of public money a year for its programme.

Only with the publication of the authoritative review by eminent paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass in England has light been shone on what’s happening and on Tuesday some of those who have experienced the kind of approach endorsed by LGBTYS came to the Scottish Parliament to share their stories.

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One young girl was taken into care after horrendous sexual abuse as a five-year-old, but rather than being counselled about the abuse she suffered she was instead exposed to what sounds very like trans indoctrination in which she was told she was born in the wrong body.

Social workers gave her breast binders when she was 11 and put her on the medical transitioning pathway, and she only stopped the course just before treatment began. That must have taken courage, but I don’t doubt those who chose this route for her felt disappointed, not relieved. I’m just dismayed they are anywhere near vulnerable youngsters.

And that’s the view of acknowledged experts, like paediatrician and autism expert Dr Jennifer Cunningham, who said she was concerned that, “this group are anywhere near schools in the first place as their pro-trans ideology is harmful.”And retired educational psychologist Carolyn Brown, said, “youngsters are being fed pseudoscience, presented as fact, and so are the staff. It is shocking and breathtaking.”

Only grudgingly has the Scottish Government accepted the Cass Review findings, including her conclusion that evidence for using puberty blockers and hormone treatment for young people experiencing gender issues was “remarkably weak”.

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By contrast the UK government has warned English schools that if gender ideology is taught it must be clear it is a contested theory, not fact.

While young people capable of making a considered decision should receive support if they want to transition, unchallenged blanket encouragement of vulnerable teenagers to seek drastic medical intervention must surely end.

Sue Webber is a Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP

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