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Scottish primary school scraps separate girls and boys sports day races

Lydia Smith June 1, 2018

A primary school in the Scottish Highlands has decided to end separate running races for girls and boys.

The move meant all the children competed together at a recent sports day at Merkinch Primary School in Inverness.

The school made the move several weeks after guidelines to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex pupils were issued by Highland Council.

Piers Morgan weighed in on the issue, posting on Twitter that it was “time” to “scrap these idiot PC-crazed teachers.”

Piers Morgan commented on “PC-crazed teachers” (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Hugh Torrance, director of Leadership, Equality and Active Participation in Sports Scotland, which published the guidelines, told the Scotsman: “The guidance has come about as a result of LGBTI pupils working together with schools to try and address some particularly difficult issues that pupils have experienced within physical education in particular.

“We have suggested that pupils should not be segregated according to sex unless it’s necessary.

“The evidence points to there being no differences between the genders when it comes to sport pre-puberty, but the manifesto is not saying that we need to do away with gender segregation completely in sport.

“That’s not how the world is set up at the moment.”

The decision was criticised by some parents of students at the school, who argued the move would lead to some children being bullied.

The news comes ahead of School Diversity Week (Creative Commons)

One mother told the newspaper: “There was a race between five girls and one boy and he came last and all the boys were like ‘ha, ha … you got beaten by a girl’.”

She added: “Why doesn’t the school just let the LGBTI children race with the sex that they feel they belong to, instead of making all the kids run mixed races?”

The news comes ahead of School Diversity Week, a celebration of LGBT equality in schools across the UK during the first week of July.

The campaign, which is run by the charity Just Like Us, is aimed at tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Of the more than 150,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pupils in UK secondary schools, around 25 percent attempt suicide, around half self-harm and nearly all – 96 percent – hear homophobic remarks, according to the charity.

More: Education, gender, pupils, schools

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