UK: Boys, 9 & 12, attend school as girls-Sun

October 4, 2009

Now boy, 9, is a girl

Brian Flynn, Rhodri Phillips and Veronica Lorraine

The Sun: September 19, 2009

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2645444/Gender-swap-boy-aged-9-is-a-girl.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2643393/Boy-12-turns-into-girl.html

ANOTHER boy has turned up at school as a girl, it emerged yesterday – this time aged NINE.

Parents rapped the primary school in southern England for not alerting them, and for telling pupils at a special assembly.

Yesterday The Sun revealed that a boy of 12 had started the new term at secondary school as a girl.

Classmates of the nine-year-old sex-change boy were told he had left and been replaced by a girl.

The pupil returned to school the next day – in female uniform, with long hair in a ponytail, tied in pink ribbon.

Parents faced a flurry of questions from their bemused kids after school – and blasted staff at the primary for not informing them of the switch.

One concerned mum said: “My son came home from school and asked why one of his friends had become a girl. I thought he was joking, but he kept asking – that’s when alarm bells began ringing.

“The pupil’s classmates were told he had left and that a new girl would be starting in his place this term.”

The Year Five children were told of what is believed to be Britain’s youngest gender swap at the end of their first day back after the summer break.

A special assembly was held by the school’s female head, their class teacher and the sex-change pupil’s special needs teacher.

As the meeting progressed, staff seemed to acknowledge that the “new” pupil might be recognised by classmates.

The kids were told to call the pupil by a new name – which had been taped to a classroom peg.

The mum added: “They were told the new girl would be using the girls’ toilet and that no-one should tease or bully her. If anyone saw the new girl being bullied they should stick up for her.”

She said: “It upsets me that staff didn’t mention it to parents before talking to the pupils.

“We have had to deal with the fall-out from all this. It’s not a situation I or other parents are comfortable with and we’ve not been given any help from the school about how to handle it.

“My son is too young to really understand the significance of what’s happening. It’s hard to explain to him.

“He doesn’t understand the differences between girls’ and boys’ bodies yet. I’m terrified he’ll ask me if he can become a girl as well.”

Another parent said: “This is distressing for both parents and kids.

“This is the talk of the playground. The kids have been told to treat this new girl as they would any other pupil, but how can they? They’re confused.”

The pupil missed the first day at the school on the outskirts of a city in southern England but returned on the second in a blouse and female-cut hipster trousers. It is understood the headteacher had personally masterminded the situation and was keen to help the family ease the child back into school as smoothly as possible.

It is not known whether their name has been changed by deed poll. The pupil is too young to have undergone sex change ops or hormone therapy. Patients must be 18.

A school source said: “The boy had always been rather feminine but it was a complete shock to the teachers as well as parents when the family said he wanted to return as a girl.

“But the school decided to support the child and worked with the family to make the transition as sensitively as possible. It decided to take this action after his case was confirmed by five doctors.”

Last night The Beaumont Society, the world’s largest transgender organisation, said the nine-year-old gender swap child was the youngest case it had heard of.

A spokeswoman said: “This child is vulnerable to bullying and teasing. They and their family have been seriously misadvised. It is hard enough for an adult to change gender.

“To go the extent that this nine-year-old has gone is unique.”

Gender counsellor James Caspian said: “People should not be surprised that a child so young has these feelings. What is more of a surprise is that the child has been able to express them openly, and that because of changes in society those around the child have been so supportive.”

The case emerged yesterday as The Sun revealed that a 12-year-old boy had started their first term at secondary school in southern England as a girl.

Parents who blasted the school and the child’s parents on a social networking website were threatened with arrest yesterday.

Cops visited at least one mum and warned that she and others could face prosecution for harassment over their comments.

The pupil’s family is under police protection at their home on a council estate.

b.flynn@the-sun.co.uk

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