The Scottish government has issued advice for schools to primary schools urging faculty to allow children to determine their own gender identity and expression, use the bathroom and name of their choice, and does not compel them to discuss any changes in this arena with a child’s family.
This applies for children as young as four years old, as “recognition and development of gender identity can occur at a young age,” the guidance states, as reported by The Daily Mail.
“This guidance outlines how schools can support transgender young people while ensuring that the rights of all pupils are fully respected,” Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scotland’s education secretary, was quoted as saying by the tabloid.
The Daily Mail says schools are also encouraged to include books about transgender people in the curricula and consider introducing gender-neutral uniforms.
“Some young people are exploring their gender identity in primary school settings. Primary schools need to be able to meet the needs of these young people to ensure they have a safe, inclusive and respectful environment in which to learn,” the guidance reads.
One section which reportedly addresses “changing name and recorded sex” advises schools that children need only informally tell others what their preferred name is, and that this does not need to be included on any official school record.
If a child wishes to discuss their gender identity, faculty are instructed to ask the child “what name and pronoun you should use to address them.”
While school staff is advised to ask a student if their family is aware that they are reconsidering their gender identity, they are not required to tell their parents if a child is wanting to use a different name or pronoun or use bathrooms and locker rooms of a different sex.
The guidance specifies that no Scottish law exists which restricts people to the bathroom that corresponds with their biological gender.
“This guidance outlines how schools can support transgender young people while ensuring that the rights of all pupils are fully respected,” Shirley-Anne Somerville said.
“It provides schools with practical suggestions. The guidance is not prescriptive and does not promote transitioning,” she clarified.
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