Parents threaten to sue Christian school for allowing boy to wear dress

(Reuters/Stringer)Lulu, a transgender girl, reads a book in her room at her home in Buenos Aires July 25, 2013.

A Christian couple is threatening to sue a primary school run by the Church of England because a boy in their son's class was allowed to wear a dress.

Nigel Rowe, 44, and his wife Sally, 42, had decided to pull their 6-year-old son from the school after a male classmate was allowed to attend classes in a dress.

The couple, who live on the Isle of Wight, had also removed their 8-year-old son from the same school a year ago when a male student also started wearing dresses.

They are now planning to sue the school, arguing that it has not respected their rights to raise their children in line with biblical values.

"A child aged six would sometimes come to school as a girl or sometimes come to school as a boy. Our concerns were raised when our son came back home from school saying he was confused as to why and how a boy was now a girl," Nigel told The Sunday Times, as reported by The Telegraph.

"We believe it is wrong to encourage very young children to embrace transgenderism. Boys are boys and girls are girls. Gender dysphoria is something we as Christians need to address with love and compassion, but not in the sphere of a primary school environment," he added.

The primary school, which has not been named, stated that transgender pupils were protected under the Equalities Act of 2010, adding that it has a policy in place against transphobic behavior.

The teachers at the school were reportedly briefed on how to tackle transphobic behavior, which includes the use of "gender inappropriate pronouns," an inability to accept a transgender person is a "real" male or female and a refusal to use a transgender person's adopted name.

The lawyers for the couple are expected to argue that the school is discriminating against them by implying that their wish to raise their sons according to biblical values is transphobic. They will also claim that the school is wrong to rely on Labour's Equality Act because legal recognition of gender reassignment only applies to people over the age of 18.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Portsmouth, which covers the Isle of Wight, maintained that its schools are inclusive safe spaces which respect diversity of all kinds.

The couple is reportedly being represented by Paul Diamond, a lawyer specializing in religious discrimination, and is also being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

The Rowes are said to have played an active role in the school, which has not been named, and used to help take assemblies. Sally said that she had a good relationship with the mother of the six-year-old boy who attended classes in a dress.

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