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Transgender student asked to leave school for uploading photos in swimsuit

By The Assam Tribune
Transgender student asked to leave school for uploading photos in swimsuit

Representational Image

Guwahati, Jun 14: A transgender student of Class XI, had to leave her school for posting a photo wearing a swimsuit in her social media account.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, parents of the student informed that their ward was studying in the Arts stream at South Point School, Guwahati.

Recently, the family went on an outing where the teenage student got herself photographed in a swimsuit and uploaded the same on social media.

"The school authority objected to the photograph. The school principal asked us to take her out from the school, if she is not ready to follow the rules. The school authority also stated that she must leave her community to continue education. I am really worried about her mental health as she has faced harassment. So, we demanded the transfer certificate. The school authority already issued the same and refunded the admission amount," the mother of the student said.

According to her parents, the student has been in the school since Class IV, and while in Class IX she formally revealed her gender identity to the school authority. Before that, the student was enrolled as a boy in the school.

"She has been facing a lot of issues in the school since revealing the gender identity. We had also organized an awareness programme about the gender issue in the school, where some teachers were present," she said.

"We have already completed the legal transitioning of her gender. We have full support for her. But the school authority clearly stated that to continue in the school she has to leave her community, must wear full-sleeve shirt, and not use social media. The principal also stated that only the school counsellor would counsel her. As per my knowledge, no one has the right to intervene in one's personal life. So, we are determined to fight a legal battle against the school," the mother added.

On being contacted, Principal of the school K Chanda stated that the school authority has instructed the student to stop uploading semi-nude photographs in social media, as some other guardians complained about the same. He also noted that after revealing her gender identity, the school provided all kinds of support to her and also changed her gender identity in the record of CBSE.

We don't have any problem with her gender identity. We provided psychological support through our counsellor to her and also sensitized our students and teachers. Things were normal when she was in Class IX and X. But after entering Class XI, she did a piercing in face and drew a tattoo in her body. Thereafter, she started uploading some semi-nude photos in social media. Many guardians raised objection about it, as some of her photos went viral among students. So we asked the guardians to - stop all the activities. The guardians said that it is her right to expression. So, we strictly informed them that she must stop such activities, otherwise she can withdraw the admission, Chanda told The Assam Tribune.

Reacting to the incident, associate vice-chairperson of the State Transgender Welfare Board, Assam Rituparna said, "Such incidents are not acceptable. The student is facing mental trauma. We have already issued a letter to the school from the Transgender Welfare Board. Such incidents must stop in the State."


Manash Pratim Dutta

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