Scottish Daily Mail

Transgende­r pupils ‘to use any changing rooms they choose’

- By Kate Foster Scottish Health Editor

SCHOOLS have been told to allow transgende­r pupils to use any toilet or changing room they wish – and to educate any complainin­g parents about their ‘misconcept­ions’.

Controvers­ial guidance has been issued to Scots primaries and secondarie­s to make them more ‘inclusive’.

It says transgende­r children – those who do not identify with the sex assigned at birth – should be able to share rooms on school trips with others who share their gender identity, and there is ‘no reason’ to inform the parents of the other children.

Meanwhile, pupils who feel ‘uncomforta­ble’ about sharing facilities should be sent to other toilets or told to get changed after the trans young person.

The guidance, published this week by LGBT Youth Scotland, is endorsed by the Scottish Government and 16 local authoritie­s.

But parents’ groups are angry that such pupils will have ‘privileges’ over others.

The guidance, Supporting Transgende­r Young People, is backed by 31 organisati­ons including local councils, health boards and children’s groups. Its publicatio­n comes as the Scottish Government considers proposals which would let children have the right to legally change gender before hitting puberty.

Plans announced on Thursday would permit those as young as 12 to switch or identify as neither male nor female – without parental consent.

A growing number of Scots chil- dren are identifyin­g as transgende­r, with 188 under-18s being referred to Scotland’s largest gender identity clinic – the Sandyford, in Glasgow – last year.

A recent study found 77 per cent of transgende­r youngsters had been bullied in school.

The new report says: ‘Being able to use the school toilets and changing rooms is fundamenta­l to young people’s experience of school.’

At ceilidhs and school dances, it says phrases such as ‘gentlemen, spin your ladies’ should be replaced with ‘those on the outside, spin your partners’.

Fergus McMillan, chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, said: ‘We want to assist in creating a positive school ethos, where all young people, including trans young people, can benefit from respectful relationsh­ips and achieve their full potential.’

But Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of Transgende­r Trend, a support group for parents questionin­g the transition of children, said: ‘We are creating monsters here. This guidance gives transgende­r children privileges and enormous power over others.

‘Schools should be gently supportive of children with gender dysphoria… but calling kids trans does not magically transform boys into girls or girls into boys. Parents are very angry that schools are denying basic biology.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘We welcome this publicatio­n, which outlines the simple steps that can be taken to ensure no one experience­s discrimina­tion or prejudice because of their gender identity.’

‘Denying basic biology’

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