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Parents were forced to call the police on a teacher who misgendered their student

Meka Beresford February 24, 2018
A school class representing LGBT history being taught in Illinois schools

A school classroom. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Parents were forced to call the police on their child’s teacher after repeated misgendering made them suicidal.

The FtM trans pupil had requested with his school that they address him as male and no longer use his dead name.

Under the Equality Act, schools are required to comply with the wishes of trans students.

However, Mermaids, a charity which works to promote equality for transgender children, had to intervene when the local police did not follow through on the initial report made by the student’s family.

The teacher reportedly refused to use the correct male pronouns often reminded the trans student of instances before he transitioned – causing the student to become depressed.

Related: The Times attacks trans teenager for applying to Jo Cox leadership programme

Mermaids CEO Susie Green and Justine Greening (Image by Chris Jepson)

The student turned to the charity Mermaids, who then intervened for the young student and they contacted an officer who worked within the LGBTQ network.

The LGBTQ network officer then advised the local police force, who did not take any action at first, that they were incorrect in doing so.

CEO Susie Greens explained that it was important for them to take the action to set precedent for other teachers not respecting the gender identity of their students.

She said: “We had to get the police involved because a young student was being regularly misgendered by his tutor.

“The tutor dismissed it until he was informed that it counted as a hate crime.”

Green went on to add that the matter has been “resolved” by the police in a statement to the Times Higher Education Supplement.

She did not specify how it was resolved but did confirm that the anonymous child had to take time off school because of the teacher’s actions.

“The student was off school with anxiety and depression for two weeks. This damage to their mental health was unnecessary and completely avoidable. This is why the law exists and why we must stick to it,” she added.

Related: Transgender people ‘aren’t safe in Britain’

Some people have argued that getting the police to intervene was a step too far.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “The general population are unlikely to support the use of police to enforce a language code in schools.

“Mermaids are well-intentioned but in this instance, they are doing more damage than good. We all want tolerance, and pupils should be taught to treat each other how they should wish to be treated themselves.

“But enforcing language using the police will antagonise. It could even make transgender children the focus of resentment.”

Reporting by the Daily Mail incorrectly states that Mermaids were the first to contact the police. However, they only reached out the police three months after the initial report by the parents to the police was not addressed.

More: LGBT, mermaids, misgendered, police, teacher, Trans, Transgender

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