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Canada: 8-year-old transgender girl says she is repeatedly bullied by school parent

Aaron Day October 3, 2014

In Winnipeg, the parents of a transgender girl have said their whole family are the target of transphobic bullying from a parent at her school.

Izzy and Dale Burgos said that ever since eight-year-old daughter Isabella came out as transgender last month, a parent picking up her child has repeatedly targeted the family with transphobic actions and comments.

Isabella returned to school as a girl to start grade thee in September.

However, according to CBC News, the incidents started when the parent took issue with Isabella as she was heading to use the toilets.

Isabella said: “This lady walked up to me and told me I couldn’t go to the girls’ washroom.”

Ms Burgos said the woman overreacted. “This person I never met felt the need to yell at my daughter,” she said.

“I can’t fathom yelling at a child, especially one that’s not yours.”

Ms Burgos said the school spoke to the parent, but the bullying has only gotten worse since.

“She comes back and does it to me and my older son and Isabella again,” she said. “And then two weeks later again to my son. I’m just frustrated.”

Ms Burgos and her husband Dale say Joseph Teres School has co-operated with Isabella’s transition, but has failed to meet their full expectations.

At first, the school allowed her to use the girls’ facilities, but now she has to use a gender-neutral bathroom.

River East Transcona superintendent and CEO Kelly Barkman said: “We are aware of the situation and the principal and division are working with everybody to make sure that everyone is feeling safe.”

Mr Burgos, however, has said he would like Rainbow Resource Centre – a non-profit group advocating for LGBT rights – to talk with the school division about the issue.

“It’s not about preaching. It’s just about answering questions that people might have.”

Isabella agreed. “Because a lot of people have been asking me questions and I just want the teachers to teach about transgender,” she said.

More: Americas, bullying, Canada, school, Trans, US, Winnipeg

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