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British Boy, 12, To Become Girl

The Sun reports that a 12-year-old British boy will become the youngest transgender patient on record when he becomes a girl.


The lad, whose parents have changed his name to a girl's by deed poll, arrived in a dress with long hair in ribboned pigtails. He is preparing for sex-swap surgery.

Angry parents told yesterday how their kids were left tearful and confused after school staff announced the boy pupil was now a girl.

They said the head teacher should have informed them in advance of the "sex change" so they could prepare their sons and daughters and inform them about gender issues.

There are a few strange issues at play here. For one, the school is going to awfully great lengths for the sake of a single student. This one student's choice has caused the entire school to create new policy in an attempt to make the change as painless as possible for this student.

Also, is a 12-year-old child really capable of making the decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery?

The 1,000-pupil school, in southern England, has given the lad a separate toilet and changing room in the sports hall.

But his former classmates at primary level DID spot the difference - and quickly spread the word.

The boy, who for years has told pals he yearns to be a girl, had to endure spiteful jibes and was asked by some kids: "Are you gay?"

Teachers stepped in with the emergency assembly, at which pupils were threatened with tough disciplinary action if they failed to treat him as a girl or use his new name. Some bewildered youngsters burst into tears.

It is understood he hoped his transformation would go unnoticed as he was starting secondary education and children stepping up from other primary schools would not recognise him.

I don't know, is it the role of the government to protect people (even children) from the consequences of their decisions? Or is this more about preventing other people from inflicting consequences on others? Should society be forced to accept like this? I could see the school sitting children down and advising them on how to be respectful, kind and helpful -- but kids who don't react favorably to a transgender student shouldn't be punished.

Bullying shouldn't be tolerated for any student, but why should there be so much ado about a single student? What concerns me is whether society should be forced to shoulder the burden of someone else's choice. Who should decide if an individual's decision should carry a social stigma -- the government, or society itself? This is the problem inherent in all government-run enterprises: one agenda is pressed on everyone.

What if a 13-year-old student decided to become pregnant -- should the school hold a special assembly to threaten all students with punishment if they should dare to ostracize her for her decision? The government should not be in the business of regulating social values, only of making sure the expression of those values does not unnecessarily infringe upon the freedoms of others.

You should be allowed the freedom to do whatever does no harm to someone else -- but why should the government protect you from the social reactions of others? What if a young child (with the consent of his parents) underwent surgery to make himself look like a tiger? He has his teeth sharpened to points, has his skin tattoo'd in a tiger pattern, and undergoes plastic surgery to make his ears more 'tigerlike'. Should an assembly be convened to threaten students with punishment if they should pretend that he were anything other than a tiger?

I know this sounds harsh, but the government's role should be to protects people's ability to make choices -- not ameliorate or lessen the social consequences of those decisions.

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