Dealing with peer groups, parents, P&C associations and others

Research shows that communicating and engaging with students, staff, parents, and members of the school community is important to ensure that trans and gender diverse students are safe and supported at school.

A family’s acceptance and support of their child’s gender identity is strongly associated with positive mental health and academic achievement, and schools should work closely with parents to cater for the individual needs of trans or gender diverse students, and provide appropriate referrals where necessary.

Celebrating events at school, such as Wear it Purple day (to foster supportive, safe, accepting environments for trans and gender diverse young people) or IDAHOBIT day (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia), also helps to foster a culture that supports diversity and inclusion.

Faith-based schools can consider engaging allies from LGBTIQ+ groups within their denomination or faith tradition, social justice groups, or individual champions within their organisational hierarchy. Such allies may assist the school when facing resistance based on religious grounds from families and/or community members.

A Christian girls’ school in a regional town enrolled a trans female student for the first time. The principal of the school did not hesitate to enrol the student. In making the decision to enrol the student she considered the teachings of Jesus in accepting those perceived as different, and treating them with the same respect, integrity and compassion as all members of the community. The school community widely supported the decision to enrol the student and more than 50 messages of support and goodwill were sent to the principal to communicate back to the student and her family that she is very welcome at the school.

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