InsideOUT’s school resources ignore the needs of girls.
There are ten written resource documents for schools on InsideOUT’s website that can be downloaded or ordered as physical copies. In addition, there are posters and videos available. These glossy resources have been produced with at least $100,000 of support from the Ministry of Education.
In all the documents, the narrative focuses on schools nurturing and supporting rainbow students in multiple ways, and encourages staff and other students to do so as well. However, there are no instances where rainbow students are guided on how to behave with mutual respect towards others.
Lack of expertise
You would expect InsideOut, as a “trusted organisation”,* to be run by very well qualified and experienced people from a range of professions such as education, medicine, or psychiatry. But instead, a perusal of InsideOut’s website finds that of the 35 people profiled, a large majority have no academic qualifications whatsoever. Only five of the 35 hold bachelor’s degrees and one has a Master of Education. Of note is that none of the 12 school co-ordinators, who go into schools to provide sexuality education ‘training’ to teachers, has any academic qualifications.
Funded by the taxpayer
InsideOut’s widespread influence is not due to a groundswell of grass roots support and private donations. According to the Charities Register, InsideOut’s income for the 2021-22 reporting year was $1.84million, of which over $1 million seems to be a grant from government ministries to provide “goods and services”. The Ministry of Education has confirmed in a letter that it provided the charity with $100,000 in 2020. More than $800,000 of InsideOut’s income was spent on “Volunteer and employee related payments.” No other voice in the debate about sex and gender identity has a fraction of this kind of money to spend.
It is a mystery how InsideOut came to be viewed by the MOE as the go-to experts on relationship and sexuality education. The organisation has been showered with money for at least five years, so that a large number of NZ schools have now been influenced by its doctrine.
Trans identities are paramount
Specifically, schools are told that gender-neutral toilet and changing room facilities should be available, but that “trans, gender diverse, or intersex students will never be made to use a separate facility against their wishes”. So a boy who identifies as a girl should be allowed to use the girls’ facilities if that’s what he wishes, irrespective of how the girls, including lesbians, might feel about having a male-sexed person in intimate spaces with them.
For overnight school trips, InsideOUT offers the same advice ( to allow trans students to choose where they sleep) except when visiting a marare. In that circumstance, the advice is that “Where possible, the school should consult with the marae manager/s or iwi affiliated with the marae before the visit to discuss options for trans and intersex students and reach a solution that upholds the mana of everyone involved”. Presumably, girls are included in this recommendation to uphold everyone’s mana. Is a marae the only place a girl’s mana is upheld?
Girls matter too
Although schools should indeed assist with rainbow students’ full participation in school life, no students’ rights should come at the expense of other students. Women and girls are notoriously bad at speaking out against injustices or abuses, especially where there is a risk of group ostracisation, so that policies that make them uncomfortable or fearful are often never challenged.
InsideOut's school guidelines for transgender students appear to give no consideration as to how they might clash with girls’ safety and wellbeing. Girls matter, too.
Read detailed critiques of these resources here:
Ending Rainbow-focussed bullying and discrimination
Making Schools Safer
*See the MOE's Frequently Queried Topics Years 7-10 (p21)