The Northern Territory Government has distanced itself from leaked draft guidelines that would assist schools in supporting the safety and wellbeing of gender diverse students.

The Northern Territory Draft Guidelines on Diverse Sex, Sexuality and Gender Identity in Schools were revealed by Sky News on Monday.

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According to the guidelines, if a student, over the age of 14, requests to change their name or affirm their gender without their parents’ support then the “decision to proceed should be made based on the school’s duty of care for the child’s wellbeing and their level of maturity to make their own decisions about their needs.” 

The guidelines state, “In general, if the child is under the age of 14 parental consent is necessary.

“A child aged 14 and above may be considered a mature minor who has the capacity to make their own decisions. This will depend on their level of maturity, understanding, intelligence, level of independence and ability to express their own wishes.”

The guidelines also advise schools to organise “non-gendered teams, physical education activities and sports days,” stating that, “transgender and gender diverse children often withdraw from taking part in sport and physical activities because they feel highly uncomfortable or are forced into teams that do not match with their gender identity.”

‘Absolutely 100 Percent Not Government Policy’

According to NT News, a spokesperson for the Labor Government said the guidelines were “absolutely 100 per cent not Government policy.”

Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison pushed back on non-gender sport and said they will not stop “having girls’ races or boys’ races or girls’ sports teams or boys’ sports teams.”

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Education Minister Lauren Moss would not comment on specifics but believes it is “really important that we are creating welcoming and inclusive environments for all students and that includes our students who are LGBTQI.”

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