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Prestigious Adelaide Boys School Welcomes Transgender Student

Prestigious Adelaide boys school welcomes transgender student

An Adelaide boys school has welcomed one of their students transitioning and will support her as she completes Year 12.

Alice, a student at Price Alfred College (PAC), came out to her year group on Tuesday.

The school’s decision follows a similar move by Xavier College in Melbourne which last year announced it would also support a transgender student.

Both schools have made a mockery of the Morrison government’s refusal to ban transgender discrimination in religious schools.

Last month, Attorney-General Michaela Cash falsely claimed that same-sex schools would not be able to manage transgender students. 

Prince Alfred College (PAC) is located near Adelaide’s CBD.

Boys school welcomes transgender student

PAC is one of Adelaide’s most prestigious boys schools, and is connected to the Uniting Church.

On Tuesday, headmaster Bradley Fenner wrote to parents to inform them of the school’s decision to support Alice.

Earlier that day, she spoke at an assembly of the rest of the 150 students in her grade.

Mr Fenner praised her courage.

He said she embodied the school’s motto of ‘Fac Fortia Et Patere’ (Do Brave Deeds and Endure) by speaking to the group.

“I thought it was very powerful when she spoke to her peers — to the other year 12 students — on Tuesday,” Mr Fenner said.

“She made the point that ‘this is who I am’ and ‘this is who I have always been’, so it’s not a transition as it might appear to be but very much a statement of who she is.”

PAC principal Bradley Fenner told parents the College has a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

Clear sense of what is right

Mr Fenner said the student had shared her journey with her close friends over the past 12 months.

“Overall, we’ve been really pleased with the response; the boys have been very respectful and supportive,” he said.

“She’s had some great messages from amongst the student body and staff and the wider community as well.”

While Mr Fenner expects some opposition to having Alice continue her studies, he said the school had “a clear sense of what is right in this situation”.

“We have a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness and those things cannot just be words on the page,” he said.

Xavier College in Melbourne also supported a transgender student as she completed her studies.

Xavier College

Last year, Xavier College, a private boys’ catholic school in Melbourne, also supported a transgender student as she completed her studies.

School principal William Doherty told parents that staff supported the student’s decision to come out to her peers. 

Mr Doherty acknowledged that gender issues prompt a range of different opinions.

However, he also said the school’s aim is to respect “the dignity of each and every unique person”.

“After an extensive period of personal discernment, specialist advice and counselling, we note that a Year 12 student has today announced to the Xavier community her identity as female.

“We welcome the opportunity of companioning her through this emotional and challenging time in her life, through her remaining at the College and into her life beyond at Xavier.”

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Bathrooms and uniforms

Last month, Attorney-General Michaelia Cash argued against stripping church schools of the ability to discriminate against transgender students.

She claimed it would raise complications over bathrooms in addition to uniform requirements.

“If a current student transitioned whilst enrolled at a single-sex school, a religious single-sex school would not be adequately equipped to cater to the needs of the opposite sex,” Cash said.

“Matters such as uniforms, bathrooms, as well as the wishes of other parents to send their children to a single-sex school would need to be addressed.”

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan scoffed at government claims same-sex schools can’t accommodate transgender students.

Government concerns ‘nonsense’

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan scoffed at the claims, calling them “nonsense”.

“As both of these religious same-sex schools have shown, organising uniforms and bathrooms is not that hard,” he said.

“Ms Cash’s claims are without basis, and quite frankly absurd.

“They are instead, just more excuses from the Morrison government for failing to end discrimination against LGBTIQ kids.

“She belongs to a failed government that has failed some of the most vulnerable children in our community.”

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