A GROWING number of single-sex schools are home to students who are trans.
Girls’ schools in Victoria who are supporting trans students include Mentone Girls’ Secondary School, Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar and Avila College, according to the Herald Sun.
“When I first came out in year nine, I thought it was going to be a huge issue because this was a girls’ school and I was a boy,” he said.
Oliver is accommodated at school through existing unisex bathrooms, and uniform concessions that allow him to wear shorts instead of a skirt.
Oliver said he didn’t want to transfer to a mixed-sex school because he didn’t want to come out again to another group of students.
“Especially with the boys, I didn’t think they’d be able to understand it or accept it,” he said.
“I feel accepted here.”
Assistant principal Carol Duggan said Oliver had not been pressured to change schools, and predicated more students would come out as trans as it became more accepted.
“Oli is inadvertently supporting the next generations of students who come through this school,” she said.
“It’s important to continue to provide a safe and supportive environment for all our students.”
Private school Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar said it has a number of senior students who are trans.
The school’s policy is to “confidentially support those students’ decisions in partnership with their parents.”
A relative of one student suggested not all parents might support this policy.
“What about the parents who pay all this money because they want to send their children to a single-sex school?” they said.
Victorian Education Department policy is that schools must respect a student’s gender.
“A school has to honour its commitment to educating girls because it is a girls’ school but also has to respect diversity,” said Fran Reddan, president of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia.
“The bottom line in schools have to ensure they are safe places for all students.”