Shamelessly transphobic Polish minister urged to resign after lying about schools ‘stuffing’ kids with hormones
A minister in Poland has refused to back down after a fact checker debunked his wild claim that teachers are “stuffing [children] with drugs to change their gender”.
On Tuesday (September 1) the Polish commissioner for children’s rights protection Mikołaj Pawlak appeared on TV to oppose the teaching of sexual education in schools.
Interviewed by the journalist Konrad Piasecki for TVN24 News, Pawlak lied that sex educators were giving young trans children hormone therapy without the consent of their parents or doctors.
“Can you guarantee the sex educators, who we let in to 20,000 schools, won’t be spreading such content?” he asked.
“Like for instance in Poznań, they catch a child somewhere unstable, neglected, and give them medicine to change their gender without knowledge and consent of the parents and doctors. We prevent this!”
When Piasecki asked him to confirm he was actually claiming that sex educators give children hormones, Pawlak replied with certainty: “This type of situation happened. They reported [it] in the media recently.”
A Polish politician making some wild accusation about trans kids, and claiming it’s true because “they have even been reported in the media recently” is, worryingly, not so far from what’s happening in the UK… https://t.co/6SDgeCyIE7
— Helen🧜🏻♀️ (@mimmymum) September 3, 2020
Unfortunately for the minister, it’s just not true.
According to the impartial fact checker Konkret24, there have been no such reports about sex education teachers giving children hormones. And when TVN24 contacted the prosecutor of Poznań asking them to verify the claims, they confirmed they’d heard nothing of the sort.
“The district prosecutor’s office in Poznań received no reports regarding sex educators allegedly offering children sex hormones or any other pills during school classes,” stated Łukasz Wawrzyniak, the spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office.
Poznań mayor Jacek Jaśkowiak also rubbished the commissioner’s claims, saying: “Such people, so ideologically dogged, having tunnel vision and not understanding reality, are misleading public opinion and lying through their teeth.
“What he says is utter nonsense about giving some medication to children,” he added. “Sex education is carried out by teachers.”
When Poznań city authorities called on Pawlak to retract his words, the minister refused and instead notified the national public prosecutor about a possible “illegal sale of sex-change pharmaceuticals to minors”.
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He justified this by pointing to an article in the Polish weekly magazine Tygodnik Solidarność entitled “Change your sex, kid”, which claims that trans activists in internet chatrooms are informing children about “illegal” hormones.
Pawlak said the article contains “highly probable information on illegal conduct involving children”, and warned that it could “endanger their health and even life, and must meet with immediate and firm reaction by the law enforcement authorities”.
His wild ideas drew criticism from several MPs including Paweł Kowal of the Civic Coalition, who said: “If a government official gives facts, he must quickly cite the source and say what exactly is going on.
“Telling nonsense about giving some pills at school to change someone’s gender is just making water out of the brain and dragging on this frivolous discussion of sexualization at school,” he continued.
A petition has now been launched for Pawlak’s resignation, accusing him of “constantly discrediting one of the most important offices in the Republic of Poland”.