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Expelled from Girlguiding for putting safeguarding first

(370 Posts)
KatieAlcock Sun 04-Aug-19 07:04:13

Many of you will remember that Helen Watts and another Guider were expelled from Girlguiding last year. This was me - in Sept 2018 I had my membership of Guiding withdrawn for social media breaches (one FB post in a small private group) and refusing to follow Girlguiding policies on transgender members (saying I'd put safeguarding first, ahead of any policies).
I'm a longstanding Guider and Mumsnetter (naice ham, cancel the cheque, show us the diagram) but I'm anonymous for obvious reasons, generally. I'm coming out now to tell you this story.

I appealed and the former Chief Guide who held the appeal concluded that I had not breached social media guidelines (I should jolly well hope not given that 9 people saw my post!) but that I was still refusing to follow GG policy (I gave the same statement - safeguarding comes first).

My story is in the Mail on Sunday today (if this link doesn't work I'll put a clicky link in the next post).

Mail on Sunday link

I am taking GG to court on the grounds that they have discriminated against me because of my gender critical beliefs by investigating my actions when other Guiders who complain about things are not investigated.
I am asking them for a small amount in damages because though I have not lost any income, I have lost reputation and the investigation was stressful, as you can understand.
And I've asked to be reinstated, and for a full apology and statement that I did nothing wrong.

PS... I spent an hour with their professional photographer telling me "don't smile" and they go with the photo from camp with a big grin on my face, taken by my Guide??!

[Post edited by MNHQ]

OP’s posts: |
RoxytheRexy Sun 04-Aug-19 07:14:47

Thank you for doing this. Will read and donate when I get chance

JessicaWakefieldSV Sun 04-Aug-19 07:23:08

I’m sorry for what happened to you and wanted to say well done for being so strong and not giving in. Will help and contribute to the thing that Mumsnet won’t let us mention too.

Datun Sun 04-Aug-19 07:31:55

Thank you Katie. Will be donating.

They are irresponsible and cowardly. If you accept men and boys you are mixed sex.

If you don't want to be mixed sex, don't be. But you can't accept the opposite sex and then lie to your members.

Idiots. Use the exemptions.

MsJeminaPuddleduck Sun 04-Aug-19 07:41:11

Kate - I have a huge admiration for both you and Helen Watts for standing up to this. Thank you for your stance and for taking legal action.

Thanks too for letting us know about the thing we can't mention - it sounds a very useful addition to the others in this area. We need case law on this. Happy to support and will keep the thread bumped. Best of luck thanks

MsJeminaPuddleduck Sun 04-Aug-19 07:42:32

Sorry you're a Katie rather than a Kate (I'm not awake yet confused)

ChattyLion Sun 04-Aug-19 07:51:20

Thank you OP and sorry that your daughter and you have had to suffer because of this dangerous and irresponsible policy. flowers I hope you have had interest from the various UK charity commissions (the regulators of charities) on this new policy and how terribly Girl Guides UK handled this and how it fits in with the charity’s legal stated aims (technically called ‘charitable objects’) of what GGUK exists to do?

What kind of healthy charity or voluntary organisation doesn’t even consult with its members before introducing policies contrary to normal safeguarding good practice? Let alone why they would even consider adopting policies contrary their own charitable objectives, which are about supporting girls and women? Then to make it worse, what kind of healthy charity kicks out its volunteers (and effectively their kids it seems)....just for asking questions about their policy that members were not ever allowed to give a view on or ask about in the first place?

It’s just so boneheaded. The equality policy also doesn’t even support girls or young women in Guiding who do want to socially transition to a boy/young man’s identity. (The policy talks about how they will need to leave GGUK ultimately because of their gender identification.) yet kids under 18 can’t get GRCs so any ‘male’ identity these young people adopt, is just courtesy, there is no legal sense in which these vulnerable children and teenagers are ever NOT still girls and women just as much as the day they were born and however they identify ... so why kick them out?

How does it not break the ethos that ‘GGUK supports girls and women’ to kick them out solely for having identity confusion or gender issues or adopting a certain persona (whilst still remaining all the while a girl child like any other girl)?

It a policy led by male entitlement and s encouraging an ‘ahead of the law’ hmm approach to the identity issues that girls and young women may have, and a weirdly permissive approach to biologically-male adult access to young girls and young women, that actually works against their interests. The GGUK Trustees should be ashamed of themselves.

Quote from the Daily Mail article:

Her dispute with the Guides began in June 2018 when, along with fellow leader Helen Watts, her objections to the transgender policy were secretly reported to the Girlguiding leadership.

A four-month investigation concluded she had breached the organisation’s social media rules by airing her concerns online.

It also ruled she had broken the ‘code of conduct’ by refusing to adhere to the Guides’ equality and diversity policy on transgender inclusion.

Ms Alcock was expelled when her membership of Girlguiding was withdrawn after she refused to unquestioningly agree to follow the new transgender rules.

She told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I wouldn’t discriminate against someone who said they wanted to change gender in the sense I wouldn’t treat them differently to any other child. But I believe gender is something created by society and it is about telling people how we think they should behave if they are a boy or a girl.’

Great quote OP.

KatieAlcock Sun 04-Aug-19 08:00:45

The policy talks about how they will need to leave GGUK ultimately because of their gender identification
They have actually changed that policy now (what with it being illegal and all) after our pressure. But no acknowledgement or consulting us on how to make the organisation work for all, including religious girls.
I've had Muslim, Hindu and Brethren girls in my unIt.

OP’s posts: |
KatieAlcock Sun 04-Aug-19 08:01:53

Yes, I did think the article was really good at explaining GC feminism for the masses!

OP’s posts: |
joyfullittlehippo Sun 04-Aug-19 08:08:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OvaHere Sun 04-Aug-19 08:09:28

I'm very sorry this happened and think it's outrageous.

Can I just say that MNHQ don't allow mentions of or links to crowdfunding.

Could you ask them just to remove that section of your OP otherwise they will just zap the whole thread and it's a good OP that deserves to stand and be read.

divafever99 Sun 04-Aug-19 08:09:56

As a guider myself I too would always put safeguarding first. I am shocked by how you have been treated by the GG association, and so sorry this has happened to you.

KatieAlcock Sun 04-Aug-19 08:13:45

@OvaHere someone messaged me to tell me that so I've already reported my thread!
I've now shared publicly on my own FB if you are on there.

OP’s posts: |
borntobequiet Sun 04-Aug-19 08:15:24

I’ll be donating.

lazymare Sun 04-Aug-19 08:17:56

I know you from elsewhere Katie (pink place) and am also an ex guider. I've donated and back you all the way.

norijunior Sun 04-Aug-19 08:18:24

That is a great quote. Thank you for standing up for girls.

ChattyLion Sun 04-Aug-19 08:25:17

<waves> Katie thanks for the update- I had missed that GGUK had now reversed on that part of their policy. Well done for getting that changed.

I wonder if that means that the new Chief Executive is any more reality-based (or more likely to work in line with the law) than her predecessor who implemented it before? Though I still don’t understand how the Trustees could support it in the first place. How come they were given such wrong advice before? Shouldn’t GGUK Trustees and the new Chief Executive take this as a sign to pause and review the whole policy now and to consult properly on all of this? And you’d think the Charity Commission would be very concerned about how things are going on in this inappropriately politicised, under evidenced mess.

GatherNoMoss Sun 04-Aug-19 08:34:22

Girl's matter as does biological reality, as does safeguarding, as does the knowledge that it is impossible to change one's sex. Thank you for sticking up for all of these things. Will donate to your crowdfunder for sure. Go Katie!

anunseemlylovefordustin Sun 04-Aug-19 08:41:01

Pledged. Good luck!

Cuntysnark Sun 04-Aug-19 08:43:01

Done the unmentionable

Namechangeforthiscancershit Sun 04-Aug-19 08:46:02

I absolutely agree with what you've said, and I don't blame you for want lung the protect your daughter (obviously) but I am a Rainbow leader and have no parents stay to meetings, come on outings etc and never have so she certainly wouldn't stick out round here. As I say though, having been treated as you have I'd be I two minds about sending her anyway.

StealthPolarBear Sun 04-Aug-19 08:46:39

It's people like you that will help overturn this madness, sooner rather than later I hope. Thank you for what you're doing.

FormerMediocreMale Sun 04-Aug-19 08:47:31

Thank you. Will read and do the unmentionable later when i get time.

AlwaysTawnyOwl Sun 04-Aug-19 08:49:21

I’m a Brownie leader and I’ll donate

Marshmarigoldssss Sun 04-Aug-19 08:49:26

Thank you for raising this issue - I will donate.

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