Transgendered Student to Return to Kan. Elementary School

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday December 14, 2012

New York-based Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund recently reported that a 12-year-old transgender girl from Kansas will be allowed to return to classes after officials in her school district had prohibited her from attending class because she insisted on wearing girls' clothes and being called by her preferred female name.

According to TLDEF, the child (named "Emma" here to protect her identity; nor was the school identified), was diagnosed with Juvenile Gender Identity Disorder. Her parents had requested the school district to transfer her to a new elementary school that would allow her to wear girls' clothes and to be called by her own name rather than her male birth name.

The district officials, however, disallowed the requests. According to a statement from the school, the young girl would "be required to dress as a boy or in gender neutral attire" and that her presence in school as a girl "would disrupt and interfere with the learning environment."

Emma refused to attend school as a boy so her parents were forced to home school her.

The TLDEF, which works to end discrimination based upon gender identity and expression, resolved the girl's claim after learning of the incident from the Trans Youth Family Allies, which was trying to find a new school for Emma. The TLDEF asked the school district to allow the girl to return to her elementary school as a girl and noted that the district was breaking its own anti-discrimination policy in addition to federal law.

"Ultimately, the school district relented rather than face legal action, and this past September, Emma returned to class in a new school, wearing girls' clothing and called Emma," TLDEF reported in a statement. "Her new school has taken steps to ensure a successful return to class, including educating its staff and taking measures to ensure that Emma is not subject to discrimination, harassment or bullying."

The statement goes on to say that three months after the returning to school, Emma "is happy and her parents report that she is doing well in school."