A 52-year-old male elementary school principal has announced he is now transgender and will begin dressing as a woman at school.
Tom Daniels, principal of Stanley School in Swampscott, Massachusetts, said in a letter to the school community that was forwarded to the Boston Globe, “I am transgender. For me, that means I identify as both a male and female, and I plan to move toward presenting myself and identifying as female.”
Daniels says he will now be known as “Shannon,” a name common to both males and females, “perfectly denoting my fluid gender identity.”
He also indicated in his letter he prefers to have others use the pronouns “he,” “she” and “they” when referring to him.
“As I nurture my new identity, I will most likely be presenting myself differently,” Daniels continued. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that there is no negative impact on our school community.”
According to Salem News, Daniels said he woke up one morning and asked himself, “Who am I and what do I want?”
Daniels, who heads a school of kindergartners to fourth graders, recommended some “simple language” parents can use to explain to their young children about his decision to identify as a woman.
“Principal Daniels may look and sound different, but inside Principal Daniels is the same caring person,” was one option.
“This doesn’t change the fact that Stanley School is a great place to be and learn,” was another option recommended for parents explaining Daniels’ change in appearance to their children.
According to CBS Boston, Daniels has been married to a woman for 29 years and has three children aged 16-23.
He says since his decision he feels closer to his wife.
“I feel really like calm, and sort of peaceful and really kind and sensitive,” he said.
Daniels adds he hopes to physically transition to become a woman.
In a separate letter to parents, Superintendent of Schools Pamela Angelakis wrote, “I applaud Principal Daniels and admire the courage, honesty and transparency that comes through in the letter you received.”
Angelakis included in her letter resources for parents about how to discuss transgender issues with children.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Family Research Council senior fellow for policy studies Peter Sprigg said Daniels’ “transition” from male to female will likely cause some distress to the young children at the school.
“Children do not have the cognitive capacity to understand something which could upend their own developing sense of a secure, natural identity as male or female,” he explained. “Mr. Daniels’ case is even more extreme (and likely confusing to the children), because he is not merely changing from a [male to female] identity, but claims that he identifies ‘as both a male and female,’ and is going to ‘move toward’ presenting and identifying as female. Children should not be subjected to such social engineering.”