A primary school principal has told Tusla, the child and family agency, that she is very concerned over the transgender process one of her students is currently experiencing.
A senior social worker with Tusla made the disclosure at a family law court about a pupil who was born male.
The child’s class teacher and school principal have raised concerns.
The child’s father has herself completed a transitioning process and now goes under a female name.
In evidence at the court, the social worker said: “The boy’s teacher is very concerned about the transgender process he is going through at the moment.
“He has stated he wants to become a girl and he likes to be referred to as ***** [girl’s name].”
The witness told the court the teachers are very concerned as to the reasons why the child thinks they may be transgender.
“This area needs further investigation,” the witness told the court.
The father contradicted the evidence of the senior social worker in the court and said the school “is very supportive” of the child during the transition.
The child’s mother told the court they will “come out as a girl in the next two weeks and be fully changed and fully transitioned”.
No age was provided for the child in court.
The father told the court: “As he is transgender, he has a very high pressure on his mental health of course. Since he was four or five, he was asking why he was not a girl, why he is a boy and why couldn’t he change.”
The evidence in relation to the child’s transitioning process was provided as background material on the child where Tusla secured a Supervision Order for three months for the child and their siblings in respect of the “horrendous” living conditions they endure at their home.
Communications manager with Transgender Equality Network Ireland (Teni), Gordon Grehan, said yesterday that Teni has received increased calls from primary schools or parents of primary school children.
However, he said the number of calls make up quite a small number of contacts received.
He said there is no medical intervention for pre-pubescent children at all.
“There is a medical transition pathway for transgender people over 18 but, for children, there isn’t whatsoever,” said Mr Grehan.
“There is a myth that exists of children going through operations changing gender which does not happen whatsoever.”
Mr Grehan said the only kind of intervention for pre-pubescent children is if they decide to dress in the opposite gender, use pronouns of a different gender, or change their name to a name from the opposite gender.
Mr Grehan said: “If a parent or a school is calling and it has got to a level of more than play or kids exploring, and if a child is consistent, persistent and insistent about their gender identity, then really we would want to listen to them.
“When you talk to older trans people, they will say that they were very aware that they felt different and that their gender identity didn’t match their outward appearance from a very, very young age.”
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