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School: government issues circular to better welcome transgender students

School: government issues circular to better welcome transgender students

The Ministry of National Education published a circular on September 30 for teachers, giving them advice on supporting transgender students. Objective: “to take better account of questions relating to gender identity” at school.

The school “must welcome all students in their diversity and ensure the integration of each of them”, recalled the circular, published in the Official Bulletin. The document invites members of National Education to “listen, support and protect” transgender students.

For those who would feel “destabilized” by a change of first name or dress style, the ministry has provided several indications.

First name change

The ministry distinguishes two cases. If the pupil has requested a change of first name in the civil status, “all administrative documents relating to his schooling and exams must be corrected”. The pupil can also recover his old school reports reissued with the correct first name.

If the civil status is not changed, the pupil can ask to change his first name, but only with the agreement of his parents. “It will then be a question of ensuring that the first name chosen is used by the entire educational community”, specifies the ministry. The new first name will be indicated on all administrative documents, such as the call list or the canteen card, but also in the digital spaces. On the other hand, only the first name registered in the civil status will be taken into account for national diplomas.

Change of dress

If a transgender student changes his dress style, “it is up to staff to ensure that the student’s gender expression is not questioned or mocked,” warns the circular.

The text also recommends ensuring that dress rules are not differentiated according to gender.

Changing rooms, toilets, dormitories …

Regarding places of privacy, such as toilets, locker rooms or dormitories, the ministry recommends a dialogue with the student to determine what is the best solution.

The pupil may be allowed to access private areas in the locker rooms, or to use those that are consistent with his gender identity. Schedules adapted for the use of changing rooms and collective showers can also be set up.

The ministry recalls that all situations are different. “They must be the subject of attentive and benevolent listening allowing the free choice of the pupil to be respected”, he writes. If the latter does not wish to discuss his transidentity with his parents, then the teacher should not contact his legal representatives. Likewise, anything relating to the pupil’s privacy, such as the medical career, should not be discussed “unless the pupil takes the initiative”.

The ministry asks the educational community to be particularly vigilant in the face of harassment that a transgender student could suffer. If it appears to be in danger, “it may be decided to write and transmit worrying information to the departmental unit for collecting worrying information (Crip) or to make a judicial report to the juvenile prosecutor’s office.”

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