An 8-year-old boy is preparing to return to his home school district in Colorado as a girl, so school officials are designating two school restrooms as unisex facilities, and preparing to counsel other students on the issue of transgenderism.
The report comes from KUSA-Television in Denver, which did not identify the third-grade student or his family in the Castle Rock suburban district.
But the report said the student had attended his home district several years ago, as a boy, and then had taken classes in another district for a time.
One parent, identified by the television station as Dave M., said children in the elementary school are going to wonder what’s going on.
“I see this as being a very difficult situation to explain to my daughter, to explain why someone would not want to be the gender they were born with,” he told the station.
His daughter will share a classroom with the boy dressing as a girl.
“I do think that there’s going to be an acknowledgment that ‘Why are you in a dress this year when you were in pants last year?'” he said.
A spokeswoman for the Douglas County School District in Castle Rock, said the district’s calling “is to educate all kids no matter where they come from, what their background is, beliefs, values, it doesn’t matter.”
Whei Wong, the district spokeswoman, said the school is preparing two “unisex” restrooms for the student to use and teachers have been instructed to address the student by name, instead of using a “he” or “she” pronoun.
She also told the television station the school is handing out packets of information to other students and their parents containing “information” about transgender people, and officials will answer questions from other students about the boy-seeking-to-be-girl “in order to protect the child as much as possible.”
“It’s something we haven’t had discussions about before. It’s something that we haven’t may really had to think about before, but now we will,” she said.
Family therapist Larry Curry told the station that the student’s age is “very early” to be having such issues.
“I don’t know too many parents who are equipped to answer that kind of question or deal with it without some other support,” he said.
But Kim Pearson, of the TransYouth Family Advocates which lobbies on behalf of such students, said students as young as five years old are “realizing their true gender identity.”
Her group works to break down obstacles for such students, she said.
“Initially there was a lot of resistance (in the Douglas County district),” she said. “Now their position is they want this child to be safe of their school.”
Her messages weren’t a comfort to Dave M., who believes his daughter is not ready to think about the transgenderism.
“I don’t think a third-grader does have the rationale to decide this life-altering choice,” he told the station.
He also is upset that although the district has been making preparations for months, officials just recently let parents know what was going on.
“I just find it ironic that they can dictate the dress style of children to make sure they don’t wear inappropriate clothing, but they have no controls in place for someone wearing transgender clothing,” he told the station.
Wong confirmed “mental health professionals” would be provided for other students, staff or parents if there are “any concerns at all.”