The parents of a 13-year-old girl who was branded ‘disgusting’ by her teacher after she rejected a classmate’s claim that she was identified as a cat have tonight expressed their fury.
An angry couple said their daughter was ‘bullied’ by her life education teacher for speaking out and blasted the decision to report her as ‘ridiculous’.
Two teenage Year 8 pupils at Rye College in East Sussex were ordered to stay behind in class after a confrontation with a classmate who posed as a cat.
One of the girls secretly recorded their conversation with the teacher, who can be heard berating them both for their views on the gender binary, calling it ‘really disgusting’ and ‘very sad’.
Girls are also told, ‘If you don’t like it, you should go to another school.’
The student said he was allowed to stay after class at Rye College in East Sussex (file image)
Tonight, the girl’s mother, who did not want to be named, told MailOnline: ‘I’m so proud of my daughter, she will always stand up for what she believes in and that’s what she’s done.
‘He expressed an opinion that many of his classmates and their parents would share yet was shouted at and bullied by someone in authority.
‘My daughter only joined the school three weeks ago and it makes my blood boil for that teacher to tell her to leave and go to another school if she doesn’t like what she is being told. What a welcome for a 13 year old girl.
‘My daughter texted me from her life education class last Friday and said she was being taught gender identity and asked to fill out a worksheet. We’ve talked about the issue before and she can be whatever you want her to be like me – but facts are true.
‘I replied that he could leave the lesson if he did not feel that what he was being taught was correct.
‘But she didn’t and stayed in the classroom but she and her friend voiced their opinions and clashed with another girl in the class who identified as a cat.
‘My daughter told the teacher that what they were learning was ridiculous and the girl who identified as a cat tried to argue that it wasn’t and that anyone could identify as anything.
‘As she said my daughter replied “so if I identify as a kangaroo I can say I’m a kangaroo?!” Some of the others in the class started laughing and the girl she thought was a cat started crying.
‘My daughter and her friend were told to stay after class and given a warning to stop the line. That’s when he started secretly recording the teacher.
‘I have to tell you what happened when my daughter came home from school. I didn’t believe her, I thought she was exaggerating and just a normal teenage girl.
Rye College is a member of the Aquinas Trust, which boasts that one of its core values is ‘promoting equality, celebrating diversity and overcoming disadvantage’.
Rye College has been bombarded by angry social media messages including the above
‘But then he played me the recording and I was shocked and then scared and then furious. I still get angry when I hear it.
‘There are girls in her class and at school who are trans and she has no problem with any of them, she calls them by their preferred pronouns and accepts them for who they are – but there are only two genders. It’s just science, you are born male or female.
‘The fact that the school is protecting this young woman who identifies as a cat and reprimanding anyone who challenges this idea seems completely absurd to me.
‘Why on earth are 13-year-olds being taught about gender identity? They are just children. It’s not right.
‘Many people agree with us on this but many are reluctant to put their heads above the parapet, so to speak, because they will be branded a bigot, a TERF or a Tory. But this kind of thing messes with children’s heads.’
Speaking at the family’s last terrace in Hastings, near East Sussex, the girl’s father added: ‘We’ve heard absolutely nothing from the school, nobody called us today or over the weekend, but it’s all over the news.
‘I think they’re just trying to sweep it under the rug to be honest and bury their heads in the sand because they’ve had such a negative reaction from people all over the country.
‘I thought the way my daughter handled it was very respectful but the teacher got very, very angry and stopped the conversation.
‘Many other parents have been in touch to say they agree with our daughter and congratulate her for sticking to her guns.’
MailOnline spoke to one of the girls involved on the phone after giving permission from their parents.
She said: ‘I don’t know why this girl is called a cat. He just does. There’s nothing about him that would lead you to believe he thinks he is.
‘I’ve been brought up to stand up for myself and if I think something’s not right, I’m not going to sit there, I’m going to say so.
“The girl who identified as a cat hasn’t spoken to me or my friend today but from what I’ve heard she believes she’s right. But I believe I’m right too.
‘My teacher hasn’t spoken to me or my friend about it, even though I walked past him today and heard him discussing it with another teacher and he was saying that the media headlines were “all wrong”.’
A spokesperson for the school and trust said: ‘We are committed to providing our pupils with an inclusive education.
‘Teachers try to make students’ views heard, and encourage them to ask questions and participate in discussions. Teachers also aim to answer questions sensitively and honestly.
‘We strive to maintain the highest standards across the school. We will review our processes and work with those concerned to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.’
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