Parents recall four-year-old son from Church of England school on World Book Day over ‘confusing and damaging lessons about gender identity in text selected for his class’
- Stephen and Joanne Evans took their son, aged 4, away from St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Essex for a day over text used for World Book Day
- The couple claims that My Shadow is Pink promotes the idea of inner gender identity
- They have written to the Chief Education Officer of the Church of England about concerns
- The school defended the use of the book, stating that the book is about gender stereotyping
Concerned parents have removed their four-year-old son from his school on World Book Day, claiming the text the students were reading could be “confusing and harmful” in terms of gender identity.
Stephen and Joanne Evans argue that the book, My Shadow is Pink, promotes the idea of an inner gender identity and believes it can lead children to believe that they or others were born in the wrong body.
When the couple learned that their child’s class would be using the book, written by Scott Stuart, for World Book Day last week, they asked that it be withdrawn from St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Southend-on-Sea for a day , Essex. .
They claim that other parents were also concerned about using the book. They say they and others have raised concerns, but “the director has ignored it.”
They told the Telegraph that they were “shocked” and “knew something wasn’t right.”
“Parents who believe that we are born husband and wife and who do not want their children exposed to harmful ideologies lose their voice and their rights,” they said.
The couple allege My Shadow is Pink, written by Scott Stuart (pictured), promotes the idea of an inner gender identity and believes it can lead children to believe they or others were born in the wrong body
“We want the (Church of England) hierarchy to step in and do more to protect the rights and beliefs of not only Christian parents, but all parents who do not want their children exposed to transgender propaganda.”
With the support of advocacy group Christian Concern, they have written to Church of England Chief Education Officer Nigel Genders to express their concerns.
In a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Evans, Headteacher Aleishia Lewis defended the use of the book in the classroom.
“The primary focus of the story is not gender identity,” she wrote. “The boy in the story doesn’t change gender, nor is there any reference to him wanting to.
‘The main theme of the book, which the author himself refers to, is one of gender stereotypes and the book was written when his own son came home upset after hearing from another child that he couldn’t wear an Elsa dress to nursery because He was a boy.’
“The mere fact that the shadows are pink and blue is a stereotype in itself and reinforces a concept that is present even among our youngest children in the shelter.
“The father in ‘My Shadow is Pink’ shows that acceptance comes from love and we want every child in our school to recognize that they need to show love to others in the same way.”
The book, published in 2020, delves into the world of a boy who is uncomfortable with male stereotypes
The book, published in 2020, delves into the world of a boy who is uncomfortable with male stereotypes.
In the story, which is marketed for ages three and up, the father tells his son, “Your shadow is pink, I see now it’s true, it’s not just your shadow, it’s your innermost you.”
The text has been criticized by policy group Transgender Trend as a book promoting the “idea that changing one’s appearance through clothing of the opposite sex and hair length changes one’s birth gender.”
However, some argue that the book is about challenging stereotypes.
The book’s author Mr. Stuart has previously revealed that he wrote it for his young son after his classmates told him that his favorite toy and character, Elsa from Disney’s hit movie Frozen, was “for girls.”
He has since released another book titled My Shadow is Purple which explores how to move beyond gender binary.