27 March 2017
The Victorian Government’s new policy for secondary schools allowing senior students to choose their gender identity on official documentation has been praised by Kildonan Uniting Care diversity project worker Damien Stevens.
‘‘It is good for trans and gender-diverse students who are now able to affirm their gender, name, pronouns at school, which makes them feel validated and valued, and acknowledges their identity,’’ Mr Stevens said.
The Department of Education’s policy says schools must support and respect a student’s choice to identify as their desired gender even when this does not align with their designated sex at birth.
School management plans were also discussed on the department of education’s website and asked principals, with the student and parents or guardians, to create a management plan that ensured the school responded to the student’s needs and addressed any facilities and privacy issues.
‘‘Having a DET process and resources in place ensures schools can best support trans and gender diverse students (and their families), and provide inclusive schools where everyone is welcome and represented both in principle, and in the curriculum,’’ Mr Stevens said.
The school policy states that in cases where parents and students were not in agreement regarding the student’s gender identity it would be necessary for the school to consider whether the student was a mature minor enabling the student to permissibly make decisions for themselves without parental consent.