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Pupils give warm welcome back to trans classmate

Joe Williams September 5, 2015
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A teacher has told how her pupils reacted when one of their classmates transitioned.

Charlie came back to school after the summer holidays earlier this week, to a class who had previously known him as a girl – but the children were quick to adapt to his new name and pronoun.

Pupils give warm welcome back to trans classmate

They even designed a banner – with the words “Welcome Charlie!” written on it – and drew balloons and smiley faces on the classroom whiteboard.

“There was no fuss; a couple of my class who had been away on Monday didn’t bat an eyelid when I called the register,” the teacher explained.

She said that even though some of the class get confused with which pronoun they should use “they correct themselves quickly!”

“He [Charlie] has been really relaxed and I’m so pleased.”

And although a few parents have raised questions about the transition, the teacher explained that staff at the school soon put a stop to any gossip.

Elly Barnes, CEO of Educate & Celebrate – a charity working with schools to encourage diversity – said that it is stories like these that “make me smile and know that there is a need for LGBT inclusion in our schools.”

“Training gives teachers the confidence to successfully engage their students in an LGBT+Inclusive curriculum to increase visibility.”

“An important element of our work is to introduce LGBT language,” she explained, “to better explain the words ‘trans’ ‘transgender’ ‘transsexual’ ‘intersex’ and all words on the gender identity spectrum.”

“We should bring these words into the mainstream to help our staff and students to be themselves and have the language to express who they are.”

To aid Charlie’s transition, the teachers took a whole-school approach to inclusion by holding a diversity day where they celebrated uniqueness and difference.

Last week, it was revealed that hundreds of students had walked out of a high school over a trans girl’s request to use the girls’ locker rooms.

Lila Perry last year came out as trans and for the rest of the school year she was asked to use a unisex changing facility.

However this year, she returned and said she would rather use the female changing rooms. She has lived as female since the age of 13.

The students at Hillsboro High School, Missouri, walked out as now 17-year-old Perry was locked in the principal’s office, apparently to protect her.

Related topics: acceptance, classmates, school, Trans

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