US: 13-year-old trans girl banned from school unless she dresses as boy
A 13-year-old transgender girl has been banned from attending her own school, unless she dresses as a boy to do so.
Rachel Pepe of New Jersey previously attended Thorne Middle School, but has been told that she won’t be allowed back after transitioning to female.
Her mother, Angela Peters, told Asbury Park Press that the school demanded she dress as male, refused to call her any name other than that on her birth certificate, and claimed they couldn’t provide toilets for her.
She said: “I said ‘what about letting her go to the bathroom in the nurse’s office?’ [but they rejected the idea].
“They definitely can’t call her Rachel because on her birth certificate, it is Brian.”
Ms Peters also revealed that the teenager had developed stress-related seizures, depression and panic attacks before being allowed to transition.
She said: “[Rachel] was going to school last year as Brian… I am not sending her back as Brian because the depression will start again.
“She would get off the bus and just cry, then she would go to sleep for 17 or 20 hours and refuse to go back there.”
Ms Peters has attempted to find a private school that would be more accepting of the teenager, but says the district refuses to provide money to accommodate her.
Middletown Schools Superintendent William O. George said he plans to meet with the family, adding: “We as a district want to do everything we can as a district.
“Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement.”
However, Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund said: “Certainly the family has legal avenues if they wish to pursue them.
“The family would have a strong case against discrimination.”