A leading independent school has announced it will scrap its traditional, 170-year-old uniforms and “abolish the notion of boys’ and girls’ schools altogether” to accommodate for a “small number” of transgendered students.
The prestigious Brighton College said it was, “reacting to a changing society which recognises that some children have gender dysphoria and do not wish to lose their emotional gender identities at school.”
“Public schools are usually seen as bastions of conservatism but Brighton College feels it is time to break ranks”, they added.
Head teacher Richard Cairns announced to students that girls would be allowed to wear tweed blazers and boys could wear skirts, if they so wished. One student is reported to have changed their uniform already, and others have enquired.
“This change follows requests from a small number of families. It ties in with my strong personal belief that youngsters should be respected for who they are”, he said, according to the Telegraph.
“If some boys and girls are happier identifying with a different gender from that in which they were born, then my job is to make sure that we accommodate that. My only interest as headmaster is their welfare and happiness.
“The college’s approach is different from most other schools which have tended to give transgender children personal leeway with uniform.
“Brighton College has instead decided to abolish the notion of boys’ and girl’ schools altogether. Traditional uniform will be worn but the type of uniform will be a matter for the individual boy or girl, always assuming parental support.”
The proposal might sound extreme, yet some schools in Canada are now forced to allow biologically male students and even parents into girls’ changing rooms under new transgender orientated rules.
In the UK, there are now more than 80 primary-school-aged children being branded as transgendered per year, and a government report released last week by Parliament’s Women’s and Equalities committee called for all teachers to have “gender identity awareness training” and for “trans issues” to become “mandatory” on school curriculums.
The document also opened up the possibility that increasing numbers of biologically male children, who are deemed transgendered, will be allowed into girls changing rooms and to play girls sports.
Authors demanded that teenagers be able to change their gender without parental consent, noted that children “as young as four” are referred to gender identity “clinics”, and called for them to have access to powerful, puberty blocking drugs and surgery earlier than ever.
“We recommend that provisions should be made to allow 16- and 17-year-olds, with appropriate support, to apply for gender recognition, on the basis of self-declaration”, the report stated.