Labor MLC Greg Donnelly
Labor MLC Greg Donnelly Trevor Veale

MP slams transgender teachings at school

A BOOK teaching public schoolchildren as young as four that gender is not necessarily connected to sexual organs has earned one New South Wales upper house member's ire.

Labor MP Greg Donnelly has criticised the Safe Schools Coalition Australia for promoting the classroom use of a book, The Gender Fairy, to tell the story of two transgender children.

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The group says it is a national coalition of organisations and schools "working together to create safe and inclusive school environments for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families".

Mr Donnelly said its links to reproductive and sexual health services provider Family Planning NSW had so far flown under the radar without much detection from parents.

"I would argue that parents are being deliberately left in the dark by schools and those promoting the program," he said.

The book in question includes the message: "Only you know whether you are a boy or a girl. No one can tell you."

"The story is about two transgender children who apparently are not 'fluid' and make the choice to socially transition," Mr Donnelly said.

"A key narrative of the story is that it is up to the children to decide where they are on the gender spectrum.

"Now it may well also be the case that mums and dads across the state are pleased that their primary school aged children are being enlightened about the finer points of gender fluidity by the Gender Fairy.

"However, for the vast majority of parents, they will never know."

Schools can opt into the Safe Schools Coalition, which has $8 million in federal funding behind it.

South Grafton and Maclean high schools are both members.

Author Jo Hirst decided to write the picture book after her child began primary school and came out as a transgender boy.

"The book is about two children who feel they don't align with the gender they were assigned at birth, and they cry out for help," she said in an online interview.

"And their cries are heard, and they're helped by someone called the Gender Fairy.

"It's a picture book designed for very young children aged four years."

"One of the first things that transgender kids will ask is: 'Am I normal?'

"And the book reassures them that yes, of course you're normal."

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