LGBT Youth Scotland recently surveyed young people across Scotland and found that 82% of transgender young people experienced bullying at school. 29% of those transgender young people left education as a direct result. These findings, and frequent requests for advice from teachers, led to the development of this guidance. The guidance seeks to protect transgender young people’s right to privacy and non-discrimination, enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
All young people should have access to changing facilities and toilets that respects their right to privacy, including transgender young people. We know from thirty years working with transgender young people that this isn’t always their experience at school. It is scaremongering to suggest that any young person would be put at risk by schools seeking to sensitively meet the needs of transgender young people. The guidance makes helpful practical suggestions for how to improve the school environment for all young people.
It would not be expected that an EQIA would be carried out for guidance of this nature. However, the experiences of other groups of young people were taken into account when this document was written. Public authorities should conduct an EQIA at the point of developing their own policy and practice.
Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland said, ‘Supporting Transgender Young People, is about exactly that: providing vital and supportive responses to this group of young people, to allow them to grow up happy and healthy. The guidance provides practical information to adults who play a role in children and young people’s lives; to allow them to support trans young people to be who they are and seek appropriate support where necessary. LGBT Youth Scotland has worked closely with teachers, young people and parents in the development of this resource.’
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