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UK: Primary school writes to parents to explain that their child’s teacher will be changing gender

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  1. Annetta Gaiman 19 Dec 2012, 5:25pm

    We’re not going to stop existing or go hide in a hole somewhere, so parents are going to have to stop projecting their prejudice onto their kids.

    1. The fact that you exist doesn’t mean it’s a good example to be setting to children. Lots of people and behaviours exist which shouldn’t be encouraged.

      1. Being the person you want to be shouldn’t be encouraged?

  2. Katherine Griffiths 19 Dec 2012, 5:29pm

    Is it really a news story?

    1. Only in the daily mail.

    2. It wasn’t until the Daily Mail made it a news story… I guess the story here is really how much utter contempt the Daily Mail has for people.

      1. I think you’ll find “people” would agree with the Daily Mail on this one.

  3. At that young age, kids won’t have a rigid view of gender roles, or sexual matters. Just because it has something to do with sex that most people have misconceptions about, people fear it. It’s a news story because it affects people, and it’s an issue many people are clueless about.

    1. Young children deal with situations far worse than this every day. They are programmed to think everything they experience is normal. This is why they nearly always accept abuse as being normal.

      It isn’t the children that cannot deal with it, it is the parents.

      1. But this is precisely the issue. Transgenderism is NOT normal and we shouldn’t be sending the message to children that it is.

        1. Your narrow and uneducated views of what is normal and what isn’t shouldn’t be projected on your kids.

          Let them make their own opinions.

    2. David-Sarah Hopwood 20 Dec 2012, 3:47am

      It has nothing to do with sex; nothing at all. The *only* legitimate story here is the Daily Mail’s consistent transphobia. Also, to report on that, Pink News shouldn’t be requoting the worthless misgendering drivel of some parent; it’s sufficient to say that the Mail did so.

      FWIW, I have never experienced any transphobia from children of primary school age. That is learnt later, apparently reaching pathological levels in newspaper editors.

  4. The daily fail continues to serve its hatred of trans people :(

  5. I honestly cannot understand why things like this are ‘not age-appropriate’. What damage do they think they’re going to do their children by explaining it to them? When I was a child, around or above that age, my parents explained transgender issues, as well as other LGBT issues as they became relevant, or if I expressed curiosity about them. Because of that all that’s happened is I don’t fear these things, and so my own life is a lot more liberated. It also meant that when facing issues with my own sexuality and gender I was able to confront them instead of denying them and letting them become the bane of my life. Teaching children about things like this will not damage them; it’s something that they will have to encounter at some point in their lives. It’ll only save them years of being stuck within a suffocating set of ideas that simply are not true.

    1. I guess this all comes down to people being so attached to forcing gender roles on their children. It’s like the way that many adults are disgusted if a boy wears pink or a girl is given a “boy’s” toy, as if wearing a particular colour of clothes or playing with a car instead of a doll will somehow confuse or damage them.

  6. PantoHorse 19 Dec 2012, 5:50pm

    Kids of that age are so accepting and have all sorts of ingenious ways of explaining and coming to grips with things – to say it’s too much for a six or seven year old to handle is simply wrong. If it wasn’t for adults then this would be such a lovely work environment to come out and transition in.

  7. They don’t have to “deal with transgender issues at the age of six or seven”, unless they are transgender themselves.

    I don’t think for one minute these children are going to suddenly become confused about their own gender because of this woman so what is the problem?

    Is the teacher good at their job? Surely that’s all that matters.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Dec 2012, 6:20pm

      What next, call for a ban on divorced people and those living with their significant others outside of marriage from teaching? More bloody bigotry at play instigated by CoE’s loud speaker, the Daily Mail. This says more about the bigoted parents than anything else and goodness knows what they’re teaching them in their homes, homophobia being one of them no doubt.

      1. Surely dear, the Times is the C of E paper or for that matter the Church Times…The Daily Mail is more a born again rag…

        1. Absolutely not !

          It may be owned by Murdoch, but it’s always very strongly supportive of Equal Marriage.

          1. I didn’t mean it that sense. I just meant that the Times and the C of E both have officious airs about them. Plus the Times is generally better unformed about C of E affairs than the Mail. As an Anglican I personally read the church times and that notable ‘High Church’ paper, the Guardian…

  8. You know, a kid’s going to ask one or two questions about it all and then be satisfied. It’s only the parents who are going to have an issue with it all.

    1. PantoHorse 19 Dec 2012, 6:40pm

      Spot on!

  9. When you quote other articles, how come to don’t link to them?

  10. What is the daily Mail’s problem with… well, almost everything?

    I’m trying to imagine myself at the age of these kids. I’m pretty confident that had my form-teacher transitioned from Sir to Miss I wouldn’t have been scarred for life.

    Like most 10 year olds, I might have found it a cause for giggling for a while, probably asked a few questions…. but that would have been about it.

    I’m male and comfortable with my gender, so I can’t really imagine what it must be like to be in this lady’s place. Evidently, Miss Meadows is a valued member of her community and a woman with fair amount of courage.

    Which is more than can be said for the Mail and, seemingly, some of kiddie-winks’ parents.

    1. I just would have thought of it as having a new teacher and I am sure that is how many of the kids will see it anyway.

  11. I was watching Glee the other day with my boyfriends 7 yr old and the new charecther ‘unique’ came on.
    She expressed confusion as to why a boy was wearing girls clothes. I explained that sometimes theres an accident inside a mummys tummy and a little girl gets a little boys body by mistake… she said urgh (in response to having a nasty boys body not against the boy wearing a dress) then shrugged and carried on watching…..Those parents who are outraged at this and wondering what to say to their kids are clearly bad parents…kids will question EVERYTHING….and unless YOU tell them its wrong they will not carry predjudice.

  12. The kids won’t have a problem with this – it’s the small-minded parents making issue. They should see the strength this teacher has to want to continue teaching in a school in which s/he is valued and shows a firm commitment. Well done Headteacher!

  13. Wayne appears to have one his own transitioning into a bigot!

    1. Done even.

  14. Poor kids, they will be confused .A better ploy would be to tell them you can’t change gender – you are either born male or female and you will remain so until you die .They could explain some people are deeply unhappy and disordered that they believe they are born in the ‘wrong’ body (just as the anorexic thinks they are obese) and undergo mutilation and subsequently fool themselves into thinking they have changed .The biggest obstacle for these people getting help is the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ attitude of some who call a male ‘her’ and a female ‘he’.’Transgender’ is the new myth, the new ‘centaur’ of our time – we are either male or female .Let’s stick to science and objective reason folks.This is a new low in the teaching profession.

    1. Utter nonsense.

      If anyone asks you, you just say that most boys prefer to be boys, most girls prefer to be girls but sometimes a boy prefers to be a girl and that just happens to be the case for Teacher. If adults don’t make a big fuss the kids won’t either.

      Judging by the fuss, I’d assumed that the kids were 6 or 7, but re-reading it I note that they are 10 & 11 for heaven’s sake !

      This is just the Daily Wail stirring for the sake of it.

    2. Wow, gee, thanks. Deeply disordered, am I? Perhaps… I’m also a mathematician and theoretical physicist at Cambridge. If you fancy testing my mental faculties against yours, you’re very welcome, but I daresay you won’t win. Don’t you dare weigh in on something you have no idea about.

    3. “we are either male or female”

      So you haven’t heard of intersex people then? Prejudice often comes from ignorance.

      1. Steel yourself for a response that erroneously references chromosomes

    4. I don’t know if you will be any more likely to listen to this than you are when it comes to LGBT stuff, but it’s completely wrong to say that people with anorexia nervosa “think they are obese”. It has lots of potential causes, many of which are physiological rather than psychological (and the psychological causes are a lot more complicated than that).

      The people with an “Emperor’s New Clothes” attitude are the ones who follow moral laws imposed by the pope just because he has a shiny hat and throne.

    5. There’s Ray again! He’s absolutely DIEING for some cock but because of his religious indoctrination the nearest he can get is to wag his finger at us on this site. Go on Ray. Get down on it. You know you want to.

    6. Jock S. Trap 20 Dec 2012, 10:11am

      And you are an old low in a typically bigoted society.

  15. Bill (Scotland) 19 Dec 2012, 8:46pm

    What is so infuriating about Pink News is that it almost never puts the links into its articles so that one may read the source articles easily. Why not?

    Reading between the lines of what Pink News writes, it seems as if one or more of the parents who were sent these letters has contacted the Daily Mail; I doubt if it is the school that has contacted the newspaper. I don’t see how the newspaper could have known about this otherwise. No doubt the headmaster/headmistress will have received a telephone call or a visit from the newspaper asking for comment and will have felt pressured into making some kind of comment about what is entirely a private matter.

    As others have written, it is the parents’ prejudices that are being passed on to their children. On the other hand the school did have to write those letters, I think – the only alternative would have been to tell the kids that Mr ‘x’ was leaving and in the new year they would be getting a new teacher Miss ‘y’. Not easy.

  16. gingerfuzzball 19 Dec 2012, 9:13pm

    What an amazing school, I hope that in time the complaining parents will realise how lucky their kids are to go somewhere so supportive. I’m particularly impressed by the way the headteacher announced it as just another piece of school news in a long list, rather than making a drama out of it. I’m so impressed I’ve written to the school to offer them a donation, and I don’t do that sort of thing often…

  17. Primary students are too young to deal with these issues? Give me a break! I have a 10 year old student who started the processes of becoming transgendered a year and half ago! She and her classmates have handled it just fine!

  18. How many young people are utterly alone with being trans* until their first experience with one? We should get as many trans* role models as possible visiting schools on a regular basis – it’d save so much in heartache and healthcare costs later on!!!

    And, I’ve always found the young ones take it best. There is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained from occurrences like this.

    And I don’t comment on the Daily Fail.

    1. Note.

      The majority of comments on the Daily Hate are in support of the teacher.

  19. That There Other David 19 Dec 2012, 10:38pm

    The Daily Mail doing its usual trick of manufacturing outrage and sensationalising someone’s life in order to sell more copies. Utter poison. Why do people buy that rag?

    On a more positive note, isn’t it great to see that the school itself values Miss Meadows for the wonderful teacher she obviously is.

  20. I seem to remember people making the same stupid comments about the childrens TV presenter who was born with one arm. “How can we possibly explain it to our children? I should have rights as a parent to discuss it with my children when I decide to.”

    Children will ask a few questions and then accept it. The only problem here is the parents attitudes and the Daily Mail invading this poor woman’s privacy.

  21. My 10-year-old brother asked me what a transsexual was a while ago. I said “A transsexual is [broadly speaking, I know] a person who feels to be a different sex than they are physically”.
    He said “oh” and went back to watching TV.
    That is how hard it is to explain this to children. That was literally a one-minute conversation and he understood perfectly. These people need to get a life.

  22. Katherine POwer 20 Dec 2012, 12:54am

    As usual Paris talks total sense and tha Daily Mial talks utter nonsense. I’m a transwoman myself and have personal experience of family “not wanting to upset my neices and nephews”. The reality is that the so called adults are the ones with the problem and not the kids.
    Everyone else that knows me from age 2 up to 80+ doesn’t have a problem. I find that very strange-ironically at least one of those family members is a Daily Mail reader. That says something to me.
    I’m proud of who I am and who’s to say what’s normal anyway. What’s normal about a society that promotes guns and then has to deal with the fallout, and what’s so normal about some of the other religious and political do gooders too.
    It’s about time the Mail stopped worrying about issues of no relevance and usig some of that “hot air” to raise issues that really do matter.

  23. The recent Leveson Inquiry pointed out that the press has behaved particularly badly towards transgender and intersex people. The Prime Minster rejected Leveson’s recommendations (panicked, threatened because too many skeletons in the closet waiting to be challenged by the Murdoch Mafia?) claiming that the British press was somehow sacred to freedom and democracy would regulate itself. Didn’t take them long to fall back into their old habits, did it?

  24. The Daily Mail clearly have not taken anything from the Levenson Report on board!

  25. As a transgender parent, I was faced with a difficult decision because my son was still attending primary school.
    With the full support of staff, my transition was made easier.
    There were a couple of minor incidents with other children bullying my son, but the school nipped it in the bud. After the first few months, the majority of children welcomed me (including years above & below my son).

    All the parents, children & teachers that I had contact with were polite & respectful towards me. Yes there were some that stayed away from me & I dare say some were talking about me behind my back, but all the children were very accepting, even those as young as 5.
    Young children are far more accepting than most adults. The children may be too young to be “taught” about trans people as they won’t be able to understand it all but we’re a part of society & shouldn’t have to face the prejudice of parents being passed to their kids
    The parents need educating to eradicate their fears & phobic attitude

  26. Jock S. Trap 20 Dec 2012, 10:08am

    I take my hat of to this Primary scholl for being so supportive.

    The same cannot be sad however, toward those vile parents. Yet again it’s the adult not the child.

    What are they expecting? That Lucy Meadows now hide from society at the risk of upsetting a few Adults?

    Fact is children will be naturally curious and they have a right to now the true facts AND at the same time learn to respect Lucy as an individual.

    Yet again adults equate changing gender the same as being Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual as via sex and not by the person.

    Teachers are there to teach and in most cases being taught to accept society even from very young produces and a much fairer society.

    I applaud Lucy, I applaud St Mary Magdalen’s School. I wish I got say the same about these vicious, bigoted parent who will no doubt teach their children their hatred and bigotry.

    Having said that I assume this isn’t a majority of parents just a few of the bigots who make a noise enough to get a reaction from the Daily Mail!

  27. If the woman had come to school with no notice being given the parents would have been up in arms about that too. It seems that the only thing that would satisfy these bigots is sacking her. I propose that the only part of this that the children are “too young to be dealing with” is their parents’ hysteria. That’s going to leave them more confused than the idea that Mr X is now Ms X.

  28. I chose to read the article on the Daily Mail too. Oh dear me. Of all ages, children are the most accepting of people regardless of what the circumstances are. I work in education with a person currently going through gender reassignment and all that generally arises is a question and then they’re satisfied with the explanation. It may help to speak to parents about this as well so they understand that this will not upset the children. I have a considerable respect for the school that are supporting her. People should learn from this example.

  29. Whenever PN reports on a Mail article, I always go their website to see their readers’ comments (just to see how low they will stoop with their bile and outrage). So couldn’t believe it when I saw that the best rated comment on this story was: “The kids will be fine, chances are most wont even batter an eyelid, the parents however will be the ones who wont know how to deal with it.” I’m speechless!

  30. melitta lewis 20 Dec 2012, 11:39am

    Prejudice is learned, children are likely to curious but not distressed. The parents are the ones who need to get over it.

  31. Margrete Cowie 20 Dec 2012, 2:38pm

    Our grandchildren are aged between 3 and 10. They ‘handled’ my wife’s transition just fine.

  32. When I was in their grade my teacher left because she had a really horrible medical problem AND her daughter was dying.

    This seems a lot less scarring…

  33. The most interesting information in this article is that the school that’s supporting this woman so sensitively and positively is C of E, which should remind us that blanket condemnation of that organisation is ill-judged. In this case perhaps congratulations are in order,

  34. A parent’s narrow and uneducated views of what is normal and what isn’t shouldn’t be forced upon their children.

    Let your kid make his own opinions and views.

  35. As someone who has had lots of verbal abuse from kids of that age and slightly older, including eggs and stones thrown at me. I feel I have to say that it is an incorrect statement to say ALL young kids can understand transitioning people, most do not and they will grow up hating those of difference, I no longer report hate incidents due to police indifference

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