Victorian school students allowed to identify as ‘undefined gender’ in official documents
Herald Sun, 22 March 2017
SENIOR high school pupils are being allowed to identify as having an “undefined gender” in official documents.
Personal details forms this year allow VCE and VCAL pupils — some as young as 15 — to choose whether they are male, female or “gender X”.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority altered the form after requests from pupils who are transgender or “a gender that is not exclusively male or female”. Its spokesman said: “Schools also expressed similar concerns on behalf of students.
“The inclusion of Gender X in student records is of importance to the health and welfare of individual students who do not identify as male or female.”
But the Australian Christian Lobby’s Victorian director Dan Flynn said it was a “threat to change rooms and bathroom usage” and could create problems in selecting sex-specific sports teams.
“Giving boys the right to self-identify as a girl creates all those safety problems,” he said.
“Boys are boys and girls are girls and there would be a fractional category of people who are truly intersex. We are also opening the door to say ‘I don’t want to be a male or a female, I want to be something else’.
“This is out of step with the school community’s expectation and parents’ expectations,” Mr Flynn said.
Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling said: “(Premier) Daniel Andrews needs to … stop pushing his radical gender and sexuality theories onto other people’s children.”
But Education Minister James Merlino said schools must cater to all pupils: “We do have young people in our education system who are gender diverse so it is about reflecting and respecting every student.”
The VCAA may use the gender X statistics in reports that distinguish genders, including those that compare male and female VCE results.
Transgender Victoria called for the forms to offer four options: male, female, “other please specify”, and one allowing pupils not to answer.
Its executive director Sally Goldner hit out at claims that transgender children who used the toilets matching the sex they identified with were risking other pupils’ safety.
“There has never been a proven case (of misconduct) in Australia involving transgender people … in bathrooms. I really have to express my frustration that we keep having this ‘nothing’ debate,” she said.