New policies have been introduced in South Australia aimed at protecting the rights and choices made transgender and intersex kids in state schools.
The guidelines will allow students to use the toilets of whichever gender they identify with, wear whichever uniform they prefer, adopt their preferred named and be called by the appropriate prefix.
In another huge step forward, South Australian schools introduce new policies that will allow transgender and intersex students to use their bathroom of choice, wear which uniform they prefer and be called by their chosen name and prefix.
Education Department spokesperson Ann-Marie Hayes has praised the policy, saying it was a necessary to provide a clear set of guidelines for both schools and parents to refer to:
“We had a number of queries from schools and parents, and we needed to make it very clear what our legislative requirements were and how schools enact them — supporting principals in particular but also families in what they can expect from schools,” she said. “It actually supports the students and the families. These students are often more likely to be bullied or harassed because of homophobia or transphobia.”
Hayes has said the Education Department expects the policy will be well received.
“We often find that students are really welcoming of this, and parents and principals, and really that’s where the policy started,” she said.
According to the policy, decisions about the use of toilets and change rooms should be made “in consultation” with students and their families, with safety and wellbeing a “primary consideration”.
The policies will be mandatory across all state schools but not in private or independent institutions.
This is the second progressive move by the South Australian government in regards to legislature surrounding gender equality; a few weeks back they passed a bill that acknowledged overseas homosexual marriages, and they introduced an official register for same-sex couples. Read all about it here.