Secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland should let transsexual students use toilets and changing facilities that correspond with their ‘gender identity’, according to new Department of Education and Skills guidelines.
Jointly published with the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, ‘Being LGBT in school’, claims to address “the specific support needs of students who identify as transgender”.
It includes advice such as providing a single ‘unisex’ toilet facility for ‘transitioning’ students, and allowing students to wear a uniform according to their chosen sex.
The guidance dismisses the discomfort that may be felt by other students and their families when transsexual students use facilities provided for the opposite sex.
The resource, compiled with the help of activist group Transgender Equality Network Ireland, was launched last week by Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan.
Earlier this month it emerged that teenagers in Brighton had been given a survey offering students 25 gender options to choose from.
The Christian Institute responded by saying that giving equal weight to the new terms and traditional language was “totally misleading”.
The Institute’s Deputy Director Simon Calvert said that giving children so many options would lead to answers “across the spectrum – not least from kids who want to make fun of the whole thing”.
“But for some children it will be profoundly confusing to find out that there are adults who don’t seem to know that boys are boys and girls are girls”, he commented.
Mr Calvert continued: “We feel for people who struggle with gender dysphoria but we must not let our sympathy for them outweigh our sympathy for the great mass of children who need to feel safe and protected in school.
“We must not intrude on childhood by deliberately confusing school children about what makes a boy a boy or a girl a girl just to satisfy adult political agendas.
“We must protect children from being made to feel that passing phases of confused feelings about themselves – which many go through – must be turned into life-changing moral and political decisions.”