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Letters extra: sex-change teacher

Article | Published in TES Newspaper on 19 October, 2001

I write in response to your front page article of October 5 about employing sex-change teacher Natasha Thoday at Telscombe Cliffs community primary school.

I have a daughter, aged five, who attends Telscombe Cliffs. As a parent I whole-heartedly support headteacher Andrew Kearsey’s actions.

I myself was in school that day helping. All heads were turned when Ms Thoday walked down the corridor and children as young as four and five were asking, "Why is that man dressed up as a lady?" It was apparent to these young children that something was not quite right. How do we respond to three four and five year olds, who have not yet been taught the basics of sex education, that this person was transsexual?

It was not the appropriate place to sit down and talk to these young children about "sex changes", and I’m sure that if this had been the case, then parents would have been horrified when their child returned from school that day with the knowledge of a 16-year-old.

Mr Kearsey had the interests of the children at heart and also the parents. It was totally inappropriate for the supply agency to send Ms Thoday to a primary. It would have been an entirely different situation if he had been teaching secondary school-aged children.

I feel Mr Kearsey has been somewhat misrepresented for something he did in the interest of our children.

I feel proud my daughter attends Telscombe Cliffs. I know I speak for all the parents and I would seriously doubt any head who would act differently given the same situation

(a concerned parent)   

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