Why getting trans and gender based decisions in schools right, is so important.

Each year at my kids’ school, it’s tradition for the year 12 students to swap uniforms with each other in their last week of Term 4 as part of their ‘passing out’ parade. The girls put on the boys’ uniform and the boys put on the girls’ uniform. It’s lovingly referred to as ‘Gender Bender’.

It’s been taking place for quite a few years now and going seemingly unnoticed. This year, however, it caused a bit of a kerfuffle. The transgender kids in the school protested and so the school had to get creative and combine the ‘gender bender’ tradition with the ‘free dress’ code that goes hand in hand with book week.

It certainly opened the door for some great discussions in our household, raised a few eyebrows elsewhere and within the school itself, questions were asked as to whether or not this was something that should now be banned in future years, or whether or not it was gender equality gone mad.

It’s unchartered waters for the teachers and understandably, ruffled a few feathers amongst families throughout the community.

Despite the unhappy murmurings, ‘Gender Bender’ went ahead anyway, much to the frustration and displeasure of the trans kids within the school.