Transgenderism: Major Irish teaching union under fire from Jordan Peterson over video encouraging teachers to help pupils switch gender - watch the video and judge for yourself

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A large-scale teaching union has defended a video it has produced about facilitating gender-switching among young children, after it was pilloried by high-profile psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson.

Dr Peterson described the contents of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) video as “unforgivable”.

INTO is the main union representing teachers across the island working in Catholic schools.

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It has both northern and southern offices, and says it has a membership of just over 40,000 teachers.

In INTO’s cartoon video, a teacher informs his class that while doctors will classify babies as boys or girls at birth, those doctors can be wrong.

This is because sometimes a child will “feel inside they are not a boy… they know they aren’t a boy”.

By helping the pupil to pursue a switch in gender, the teacher allows the child to feel “happier and more like themselves”.

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Accompanied by cheerful music, the video goes on to recount how this good teacher then “introduced the pupils to non-binary identity, where people don’t identify with being either a boy or a girl”.

A clip from the INTO video on how to help gender transition a childA clip from the INTO video on how to help gender transition a child
A clip from the INTO video on how to help gender transition a child

It’s not clear exactly how old the pupils in the video are meant to be, but its childish tone and things like the scribbled drawings on the classroom walls suggest they are primary-school-aged.

Several years ago, while still a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Dr Peterson got substantial media exposure when he objected to a new law called C-16, arguing that it would compel people to use transgender terminology like someone’s “preferred pronouns”.

He has since gone on to speak worldwide about what he sees as immoral “identity politics” activism, and has authored books aimed largely at getting young men to improve their lifestyle and outlook.

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Although the INTO video had drawn criticism a couple of years ago, the fact it has come to the attention of Dr Peterson and his fellow travellers takes the criticism of it to a higher, international level.

Dr Jordan PetersonDr Jordan Peterson
Dr Jordan Peterson

“What the hell does ‘they feel inside they're not a boy’ even mean?” Dr Peterson wrote on Twitter (where he has 3.9 million followers).

"Inside where? Feel what? This faux compassion/ignorance is both unfathomable and unforgivable.”

The INTO video appears to have gained widespread traction online after a group called Women's Space Ireland tweeted about it, followed by Colin Wright (@SwipeWright, 158,000 followers) – an evolutionary biologist who has described the battle against transgender activists as “reality’s last stand”.

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He called the video “a special blend of psychotic [and] wildly inappropriate”, adding: “It's a how-to guide for permanently damaging a child's mental health and turning them into life-long medical patients.

“Don't let its lighthearted tone fool you. This is grotesque.”


The News Letter drew INTO’s attention to Dr Peterson and Dr Wright’s criticism, asked for a response, and asked if it still endorses the video.

A response in the name of INTO’s general secretary John Boyle read, in full, as follows:

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“Teachers play a key role in educating about diversity and supporting those who may feel vulnerable within our school communities.

"However, it’s essential that teachers are appropriately supported in this role by their boards of management and by the Department of Education.

“INTO strives to ensure the priorities in the ETUCE Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are reflected in our negotiations and representations with the Department of Education, the NCCA, the NCSE, the Teaching Council and other bodies.

“As a union we encourage our members to seek advice from expert groups with expertise and knowledge in dealing with all manner of sensitive issues in classrooms.

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“INTO organises a wide-ranging annual summer programme of professional development for teachers.

"Teachers who choose to enrol in one of these voluntary programmes, 'The LGBT+ Inclusive School ' course, during their summer holidays, receive access to all relevant course materials and peer research made available by the organisers.

"Course materials include videos which provide guidance for teachers on how to address a variety of LGBT+ related topics that may arise in the classroom in a sensitive manner.

"Course participants have found these background materials to be helpful for them as they strive to promote inclusiveness and discourage bullying.

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“It is important to stress that the videos you have cited are not part of the primary curriculum and are not used as teaching resources in our schools – they are support materials to help teachers to deal sensitively with issues that arise from time to time in today's classrooms.

"These videos help to inform teachers on delicate issues that may arise in the classroom – they are not viewed by pupils of any age group.”

The News Letter has been essentially alone on the island of Ireland in regularly covering developments concerning transgenderism over recent years (though that appears to be changing somewhat).

Here is a small selection of our coverage:

Related topics: