Transgender Children in Schools.
2015 seems to have seen the growth of a new challenge for schools – what to do with children who announce themselves as transgender – or their parents announce it for them.
However the school deals with this issue is full of pitfalls and dangers.
First and foremost in the schools mind should be care for the child and child protection and safety for the child.
My advice then would be call in the Local Authority School Medical Officer for advice and support. Schools can’t and shouldn’t try to second guess what is best in these circumstances they are not qualified to do so.
The Local Authority School Medical Officer meeting with parents and child should be able best to determine whether the child is truly transgender, going through a phase or being pressurised by parents. In any case the child will need long term support throughout their time in school.
I understand some parents are making challenges under equality/human rights as to how their ‘transgender’ child is accommodated in school.
Again the needs of the child must always come first but if a school has a school uniform policy or a school games policy for example that is why it is there for all to follow and what parents signed up for when their child entered the school. The policy is for ALL to follow to avoid confusion and to ensure equality is given to ALL.
Bullying can often take place in schools particularly if someone is ‘different’. It is the schools role to deal with any ‘transphobic’ bullying robustly.
In these circumstances children must be protected from themselves, parents, pressure groups and others who have a vested interest so that in fullness of time they are able to make up their own mind about who they are and how they want to live.
Association of Christian Teachers