The Boswells School in Chelmsford, Essex, has recently opted to distance itself from Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and remove the best-selling author’s name from one of its houses over her views on transgender rights.
In an official newsletter obtained by Daily Mail, the performing arts school meticulously explained that they made the decision after several complaints were filed by both students and staff members.
“The Boswells House System embeds a sense of community, friendship and healthy competition amongst both students and staff,” reads the document. “A strong house identity empowers our students to participate and thrive in all aspects of school life, both in and out of the classroom.”
It added, “Here at the Boswells we have 6 Houses which are represented by British citizens who have excelled in an area of our Boswells Learning Bridge which includes integrity, emotional intelligence, grit, resourcefulness, self-discipline and bravery.”
The other five Boswells houses “are represented by British citizens who have excelled in an area of our Boswells Learning Bridge which includes integrity, emotional intelligence, grit, resourcefulness, self-discipline and bravery.”
Alongside Rowling, fellow namesakes include David Attenborough, Emily Bronte, Jack Cornwell, Stephen Hawking, and Florence Nightengale.
Attempting to elaborate, The Boswells School continued, “However, following numerous requests by students and staff we are reviewing the name of our red house ‘Rowling’ and in light of J.K Rowling’s comments and viewpoints surrounding trans people.”
The school’s newsletter further declared “[Rowling’s] views on this issue do not align with our school policy and school beliefs – a place where people are free to be,” before adding that “Staff have been invited to put forward suggestions of names for the house. Once shortlisted a vote will go out to the whole school to select a new House name.”
According to The Boswells School’s official website, which still hosts documents featuring her name in reference to the building, the house was originally named after the best-selling author because of her self-discipline and hard work.
As per the description provided by the school, “Rowling states that success takes constant practice, self-discipline and requires us to get up when we fail and try again. However, if we do not complete the tasks we set ourselves, then we will never create a foundation of self-trust and discipline to improve on in the first place.”
What is even more interesting is the school’s hypocrisy, as though Rowling’s definition of self-discipline refers to one’s “ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weakness”, the offended students and staff calling for her unpersoning are failing to do just that.
The Boswells School also took pride in the fact that J.K. Rowling “is the first person to become a billionaire by writing books,” explaining that the humanitarian author is no longer a billionaire because “she donated so much money to charity.”
Once again, self-discipline and being charitable seem to only be considered valuable traits if the views of the person displaying them line up with the school’s own woke principles.
The Daily Mail also revealed that Rowling’s name had been replaced over the summer with that of retired middle distance athlete and Olympic gold medalist Kelly Holmes, who was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005.
According to the information obtained by the outlet, the review of Rowling’s name had been mentioned in one of the school’s newsletter back in July of 2021. The same newsletter also featured the first instance of the author’s name being censored from the house’s shield.
“On July 2 a new house shield was featured alongside the announcement of the review which had erased Rowling’s name and blocked over it with a large red box,” wrote the outlet. As of the school’s September of 2021 newsletter, the school had officially renamed the house after Dame Kelly Holmes.
The outlet also disclosed that one parent believed replacing Rowling’s name was censorship, arguing that “J.K. Rowling is a good example of achievement through adversity,” and explaining, “Not everyone thought she should go, a lot of schools seem to be doing the same thing at the moment sadly.’
Despite the apparent outrage directed towards Rowling’s views on transgender issues, a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, concluded that most Americans agree with the J.K. Rowling’s alleged position that “there are only two genders, male and female.”
However, in response to the poll, Rowling took to Twitter to clarify she has never actually said there are only two genders, explaining that she personally believes “There are innumerable gender identities.”
Elaborating even further, the Harry Potter creator asserted, “The question at the heart of this debate is whether sex or gender identity should form the basis of decisions on safeguarding, provision of services, sporting categories and other areas where women and girls currently have legal rights and protections.”
“Using the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ interchangeably obscures the central issue of this debate,” Rowling declared. “If you’re interested in what I actually said, see [the piece] (in which I literally say ‘trans lives matter’ and ‘trans rights are human rights.’)”
What do you make of Rowling’s name being erased from one of The Boswells School’s houses? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.