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Parents frustrated Quinns Baptist College refuses student’s new name | OUTInPerth

A Perth couple have shared their frustration that their child’s school is refusing their request to accept their child’s new name.

Andrew and Louise’s child, Lynx, is in fifth grade at Quinns Baptist College in the northern suburbs of Perth. They are supportive parents who accept their child’s non-binary gender and the choice of a new name.

The religious school insists on continuing to use the old Lynx name, however, citing a school policy introduced late last year that excludes recognition of non-binary or transgender students. The policy says it is based on the teachings of the Bible.

Speaking to online radio station YouthJam on Thursday, Andrew told host Issac Mulcrone he couldn’t be more proud of Lynx, but the school’s stance was disappointing.

“It creates a lot of stress within our family because we basically want our child to go to school and learn and be nurtured and treated with respect, and it just doesn’t follow through.” said Andrew.

“I can respect the belief system and that aspect of it, but if you look at it from a religious perspective, there are times in the Bible where people change their names.”

Andrew said the result of the school’s new policy is that a child who loved going to school now finds it a negative experience.

“They loved going to school and that’s going away, it’s really hard to get them to school if they just don’t want to be there because they’re not being treated properly.”

The school’s ‘gender policy’, which was seen by OUTinPerth, states that the school believes the Bible teaches that God creates people as either male or female, and gender is determined by the dominant physical characteristics present at birth.

The policy goes on to say that people’s “sex identity” or “gender identity” can only be those assigned at birth. The policy states that all student names and pronouns must match their “gender identity” as described by the school.

Quinns Baptist College says students can only access single-sex facilities, curricular and extracurricular activities under the “gender identity” they were given at birth and must dress in a way that reflects their gender at birth.

Speaking to OUTinPerth, Louise shared that it was frustrating that the school introduced the new policy last year, long after they chose her as their education provider.

“The school cited their faith as the reason. Which I find somewhat questionable, as they previously had an option for preferred name on their registration form, and this “gender policy” was only dated 8/12/2021 – and did not exist when we enrolled the children originally. said Louise.

The school has told parents they will accept abbreviated versions of names on birth certificates, but refuse to address Lynx by name.

“We are disappointed that a school that presented an inclusive front at the time of registration showed its true colors to be very far from it. At this point, getting Lynx to go to school becomes increasingly difficult, as they are tired of spending 6 hours a day being named and misinterpreted.

“There were days when they ended up coming with me to work to avoid dealing with it.” said Louise.

Louise shared that one of the reasons Lynx have a good understanding of the gender spectrum within society is that they have older siblings who are transgender. They were also attending Quinns Baptist College, but Louise and Andrew decided to pull them out of school.

“We have already removed the two oldest, due to the transphobia they suffered, which had a rather serious negative impact on their mental health. We will now explore other options for Lynx. As a parent, my goal was for them to have a quality education – but not at the expense of their mental well-being.

The couple hope the school will reconsider its policy and return to the approach it had previously.

“I would like the school to truly embody the faith they claim to have – to include and care for all children – whether they are LGBTQIA or cis – they all deserve the same love and respect.” said Louise.

“Since the school previously had no problem with preferred names, as recently as last year when my two eldest were still present – they were using preferred names, I would like to see this policy revoked .”

Brian Greig of the LGBTIQA+ advocacy group Just.Equal commented on the situation at Quinns Baptist College saying it was frustrating that the McGowan government continues to allow this type of discrimination.

“This form of discrimination is completely legal in Western Australia, as our state has the worst anti-LGBTI laws in the country, i.e. the sweeping and sweeping exemptions to the Equal Opportunity Act, in particular for religious schools based on religion exemptions, Greig said.

“This form of discrimination could not occur in some other jurisdictions. He underscores the need for the McGowan government to reform this area of ​​the law. They’ve been in government for over six years, and we haven’t even seen a bill on a long overdue set of LGBTI issues.

“Western Australia is way behind other states in this regard, and that’s a broken promise from Mark McGowan.” Greig said.

In 2015, while Leader of the Opposition, McGowan spoke out against a school in his constituency that threatened to expel an elementary-aged girl whose parent had a same-sex relationship.

Brian Greig says it is disappointing that once in power the Prime Minister did nothing.

“He made that comment, that pledge, as Leader of the Opposition, but did nothing about it as Prime Minister.” Greig said.

Since being elected, the McGowan government has offered a series of reasons why it has been unable to act.

“The work has used continuous excuses over the past decade to do nothing about this,” Greig continued.

“The first is that they would complain that they don’t have the numbers in the Upper House. They would say there is no point in getting this legislation through which would be blocked by the Tories in the Upper House. They can no longer use this excuse because the government has comfortable numbers in the lower house and the upper house, so it is now that there is no clear passage for any legislation they want to push forward.

“The other excuse Labor has used over the past four or five years is that they were embarrassed by the Morison government, that they had to wait and see what the end result of the Discrimination Bill would be. Scott Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill before he could do anything at the state level. Morrison and the Morrison Religious Discrimination Bill are now gone. They are no longer on the table. So that excuse can no longer be used.

Just.Equal called on the government to take action on a range of laws related to LGBTIQA+.

“The McGowan government has no more excuses. It is high time that we did legislative reform on several fronts, not only on religious exemptions, but also on banning conversion practices, redressing the situation of trans and intersex people with regard to documents of identity, incitement to hatred and anti-defamation laws and return funding to Safe Schools.

“We are now in a situation where WA is behind most other states on LGBTI law reform, and has been overtaken by the Tasmanian Liberal Government on a range of fronts in this area, and that is not acceptable .” said Brian Greig.

Graeme Watson

OUTinPerth has contacted Quinns Baptist College for comment, but all of our requests for comment have been denied.

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Tags: brian greig, gender diversity, just.equal, mcgowan government, nonbinary, quinns baptist college, transgender