NASHUA, NH (CBS) – A transgendered third grader in Nashua, New Hampshire reportedly will be allowed to dress like a girl, be addressed as a girl, and use the female restroom under an agreement between the school and the child’s parents.
Janson Wu, an attorney with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, who represented the girl and her family, would not talk specifically about the case, but told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that schools will need to address these situations as more transgender and gender-variant youth come out.
“I think that as the environments become more and more welcoming to transgender and gender variant youth, we’re going to see a lot more students coming out. And that’s something that schools and parents will need to be prepared to deal with,” Wu said. “Children often have difficulty having schools respect them for who they believe they are. If a transgender girl wants to be able to wear feminine clothes to school and be addressed as a girl, often times we see schools feeling a fair amount of discomfort around that. What we’re hopeful is that when the schools work with the student and the parents is they learn to understand that this is a sincere belief on the student’s part and they learn to support that.”
Nashua School Superintendent Mark Conrad also would not discuss the agreement, but reportedly explained that policies are already in place to protect transgendered students.
“We don’t have a specific policy on transgender students, but we do have policies in place that prevent discrimination against students and bullying, and we regularly review those policies,” Superintendent Conrad told the Union Leader.
Wu called decisions like this one a step in the right direction.
“As parents and educators and community members, you want to do what’s right for the children,” Wu said. “When you speak to the youth themselves, you really do get the sense that these are children who have sincere belief about who they are.”