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Boys Can Now Wear Skirts, Toilet Signs To Be Taken Down As School Adopts Gender Neutral Policy

Boys Can Now Wear Skirts, Toilet Signs To Be Taken Down As School Adopts Gender Neutral Policy

The new approach is aimed at making any student of theirs with gender identity issues feel happy and accepted at the school, and it came into place after a proposal for the same was put forward by the student council at St Brigid’s National School, in Wicklow, south of Dublin.

A primary school in Ireland will now let their students wear skirts (for boys) or trousers (for girls), regardless of their gender, after switching to a gender-neutral uniform policy since their students had requested it. A proposal for the same was put forward by the student council at St Brigid’s National School, in Wicklow, south of Dublin, and the management and parents of pupils agreed to it.  Mirror reports that as part of the change, the school policy also includes taking down signs for boys’ and girls’ toilets, in a bid to make the students feel more welcomed, comfortable, and accepted at the school.



 

 

The new approach is aimed at making any student of theirs with gender identity issues feel happy and accepted at the school, according to the Irish Times. Máire Costello, the school principal said, "We have children who are questioning their sexual identity. It is happening at an earlier age. We want all our children to have a happy experience in school." Unlike earlier times, people are more accepting and accommodating now. 



 

 

"If that means girls wearing trousers or boys wearing skirts, so be it. The most important thing is that children should feel comfortable and happy over how they are dressed," she added.  Until now, girls at the primary school wore a green tartan school pinafore, while boys were required to wear grey trousers and a green jumper. However, from September this year, all students at the school will be given the freedom to choose from either of these two options, regardless of their gender. 



 

 

The principal also added that the reaction to the new move has been very positive and that the school’s student council helped make quite a strong case to the board of management of the need for change. "I’m very proud of them. They did their research and surveyed pupils ... they made the case to the board who were fully behind them," she said. It takes a lot to enforce a change like this, and she has good reason to be proud of her students.



 

 

Along with this, they will also be getting rid of separate bathrooms for boys and girls at the school and will be replacing them with gender-neutral ones instead. Sara Phillips, chair of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland, was all praises for the new policy, saying that though there is more work to be done, this actually is a start and that this will help transgender children become more visible in schools. 



 

 

"There is still a lot of work to be done in schools. There are some great schools – including Catholic ones – and some terrible ones… it takes leadership and a common sense, human rights-based approach to ensure that all children feel welcome." she said. As expected, not everyone was appreciative of the new policy. Rick Case commented:  Either way- this is too much for me. My grandson is wearing pants because he is a boy. Life is simple for a child who can't take care of themselves yet.



 

 

Meanwhile, Vicky Scully wanted to shed some light on the issue: My two boys attend this school, one of them in the older class who took part in the original survey which led to the Board of Management made a decision which we have wholeheartedly welcomed. But the whole matter has been greatly over exaggerated and people's opinions once again made on not knowing the full facts. This was a survey originally started as the girls simply wanted to have the option of wearing trousers mainly for comfort instead of the pinafore. Also, it was a decision the parents of girl students welcomed as the trousers were cheaper than the costly pinafore. This has since escalated into a lot of anti-transgender, misinformed rants from "adults" across Ireland and UK. As a town, we welcome the change and my lads are proud to be part of a school who listen to their students and parents and are moving out of the 1950s mindset that still so many are stuck in.



 

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