VERITY LUSH: Parents’ protest against church school is unchristian

Sir Richard Branson is one of the world's most successful businessmen despite having no GCSEs  Picture: PA
Sir Richard Branson is one of the world's most successful businessmen despite having no GCSEs Picture: PA
Canon Tom Kennar, rector of St Faith's Church, Havant, explains how the church is helping homeless people in the town

CANON TOM KENNAR: The ways we’re helping the homeless in our town

Have your say

The Isle of Wight couple who have withdrawn their son from school because somebody else’s son has been allowed to wear a dress, are the cause of much consternation at present.

The child’s father, Nigel, is quoted as saying that we have a ‘social understanding that there are boys and there are girls’.

We used to have a social understanding, not that long ago in human history, that black and white people should be segregated.

I wonder where Nigel stands on that.

If these people wish to remove their son, thereby modelling their own special form of prejudicial bigotry, simply because he was a bit confused that another kid was in a dress, then that’s their call, but it’s a very sad one.

They may stand by their conviction that there is something political at work in the school, but to change the course of your child’s life to that extent, rather than let other people get on with their own lives, is an extreme reaction.

Surely their son could have continued being educated in a school where we presume he was previously settled, learning how to socialise and empathise and integrate with his peers, and where he presumably had a friendship group that he enjoyed?

Surely the couple could have practiced a little Christian welcoming and acceptance?

It appears not. Instead, they’ve stamped their own political feet, daring to suggest that another human – whatever their age – does not know what they are feeling at any given time, with what I am guessing is very little (to zero) knowledge of that child’s mental health history, physical health history, or support needs.

To those of us who are secure in our gender, it may indeed appear confusing that others are not, but isn’t that true of each and every aspect of life?

This is why we need to empathise, not patronise.

And given that Jesus most likely sported a frock most of the time himself – as do male members of the clergy – because it’s, to quote Nigel, a ‘social understanding’ that this is acceptable, surely this couple need to sort out their hypocrisy.


If you are reading this and happen to be a runner, then I fully recommend local races that are organised by Rural Running Events.

Myself and my running buddy, Anneke, plus my husband, took part in the Meon Valley Express last week, and enjoyed every second.

The event was well-organised, simply done, in beautiful surroundings, and went off smoothly from start to finish (if one ignores the fact

that the course was marginally longer than advertised, which is an extremely minor detail!).

A great race with no fancy and unnecessary flourishes, really supportive marshals and fellow runners, a lovely piece of bling at the end, and

not too many spectators for those of us who find that a tad intimidating.


There was a story in the press last week about an art student who had posted a picture of some workmen stood in a queue.

She had captioned it with a highly insulting dig about how she supposed they had barely a GCSE between them.

Given that nor do Sir Richard Branson or Lord Alan Sugar, is that necessarily a bad thing?

I wonder if it is remotely possible to ever raise kids without prejudices and discriminatory opinions? Probably not.

If you ask a child to draw an astronaut, you’ll invariably get a drawing of a man, and a nurse will usually be female.

Given the current evolution in society of our understanding of ‘gender’, this may change over the coming decades.