Saturday, April 26, 2008

Transgender children

Should teachers be doing more for transgender pupils? That was the question posed in an Independent article on Thursday. The piece began with a description of the life of Lauren, a trans kid who was severely bullied at school. The Independent says Lauren had been insisting from the age of three that she had "a girl brain in a boy's body" - quote marks are The Independent's.

Lauren's life, says her mother, had become a living nightmare. She faced daily taunts and bullying, including being spat at, abusive language from the mother of another child, and an ambush in which older boys tried to remove her skirt. Lauren's story reflects the quandaries experienced by schools when faced with a pupil who does not fit neatly in to the "boy" or "girl" box.

Sometimes, when schools are more thoughtful, experiences can be more positive for trans kids. The pupils at Tim's school were told what to expect when Tim came back as Becky after the holidays. The school made it clear that bullying would not be tolerated. None was reported when Becky returned with long hair and female clothes, though curious pupils did want to ask Becky questions.

In the coming week, Newsround will be investigating what worries or stresses out kids. One of the programmes will be about bullying. Other topics will be terrorism and climate change.

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