A Transgender pupil wins the right to wear female clothes to school, after hiring a solicitor to challenge teachers who sent her home for turning up in a skirt.
Kent, UK — A transgender pupil from Chatham was left devastated when school teachers threatened to suspend her from St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone for wearing the ‘wrong uniform.’
Lily, who is just one of the 1,000 pupils at her school, hired a solicitor to fight for her right to study without being discriminated against because of her gender identity.
Her solicitor sent the school details of the 2010 Equality Act, which states that a person ‘must not be discriminated against because of their gender reassignment as a transsexual’.
After a lengthy battle with her school, Lily has now been told she can wear a school uniform for girls as well as using the girls’ toilets and changing rooms. She has also been sent a letter of apology.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Lily said: ‘I decided to come in dressed in the girls’ dress code, which basically meant I was wearing a top instead of a shirt. It made me feel so happy, until I was sent home.’
Talking about the school’s reversal of their policy, she said: ‘I am very happy about the changes but I felt it was something I shouldn’t have had to fight so hard for, if at all.
A spokesman for the school said that staff are now receiving training relating to the issue of transgender students and gender identity.
In a statement, they said: ‘We value highly the views of all our students, and take all points of view into account as we develop.’
‘[Gender Identity] is an important issue for us, as for schools up and down the country.”
‘As an inclusive, Catholic academy, we are confident that the attention we have given to transgender [issues / gender identity issues], including carefully listening to students, has been invaluable in us going even further to make sure all students are happy and comfortable, so that they can be as successful as possible.’
In the United Kingdom, under the Equality Act (2010) any transgender person can study, change their name and use the bathroom of their choice. Despite being protected under law, many LGBT students believe that more can be done in terms of raising awareness and protecting us from discrimination in schools and workplaces.
While Scotland remains best country in the world for LGBTI equality, achieving 90.4% in the ILGA index, the UK as a whole has fallen behind Malta and Belgium.