By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com September 26 2012 5:01 PM ET
A transgender third-grader in New Hampshire will be allowed to wear clothing and use the bathroom that corresponds with her gender identity while at school, according to CBS Boston. The agreement, reached between the girl's parents and the Nashua County school district after the girl changed schools within the district, is a hopeful bright spot in a news landscape often littered with stories of trans and gender-nonconforming youth being bullied, harassed, and denied their identity by classmates, teachers, and school administrators.
Janson Wu, an attorney with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders who represented the New Hampshire student, told the CBS affiliate that schools need to have policies in place to protect transgender and gender-variant youth, in addition to comprehensive antibullying policies.
"I think as the environments become more and more welcoming to transgender and gender-variant youth, we're going to see a lot more students coming out," Wu told CBS. "And that's something that schools and parents will need to be prepared to deal with. Children often have difficulty having schools respect them for who they believe they are. If a transgender girl wants to be able to wear feminine clothes to school and be addressed as a girl, oftentimes we see schools feeling a fair amount of discomfort around that."
While school administrators would not speak on the record about the incident or any concurring legal challenges, Nashua superintendent Mark Conrad told the Union Leader that the district "[doesn't] have a specific policy on transgender students, but we do have policies in place that prevent discrimination against students and bullying, and we regularly review those policies."