Primary school principal concerned about boy's 'transgender process'
Published 18/05/2016 | 02:30
A primary school principal has told the Child and Family Agency (CFA) that she is very concerned about a transgender process that one of her students is going through, according to a senior social worker.
The social worker told a family court hearing that both the boy's class teacher and school principal have expressed concerns to the CFA about the transgender process.
The boy's father has himself completed the transgender process and now goes under a female name.
In evidence at the court, the CFA senior social worker said: "The boy's teacher is very concerned about the transgender process he is going through at the moment."
He added: "He has stated that he wants to become a girl and he likes to be referred to as ***** [girl's name]."
The social worker said: "I have received a report from the class teacher and the school principal to say that they are very concerned in relation to the transgender process.
"They are very concerned as to the reasons why the boy thinks that he may or may not be transgender."
The senior social worker said: "This area needs further investigation."
However, the child's father contradicted the evidence of the senior social worker and said the school "is very supportive" of the boy as he transitions.
The boy's mother told the court that he will "come out as a girl in the next two weeks and be fully changed and fully transitioned".
No age was provided for the boy 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 boy's transgender process was provided to the court as background material on the boy. The CFA secured a supervision order for three months for the boy and his siblings in respect of allegations of "horrendous" living conditions they endure at their home.
Communications manager with the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), Gordon Grehan, said yesterday that the network has received increased calls from primary schools or parents of primary school children.
However, he added that the number of these calls make up quite a small proportion of the contacts received by the network overall.
Mr Grehan stressed that 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.
"There is a myth that exists of children going through operations changing gender, which does not happen whatsoever," he added.