QUEER VOICES
05/29/2013 11:20 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Lucy Meadows Cause Of Death Ruled A Suicide; Coroner Tells Press 'Shame On You'

A coroner slammed the press after he ruled that a transgender teacher, whose transition made national headlines in the United Kingdom, had committed suicide.

Coroner Michael Singleton revealed Tuesday that the cause of death of transgender primary school teacher Lucy Meadows was suicide, the Guardian reported. Meadows, 32, poisoned herself in her home on March 19, just three months after she began living and working as a woman at St. Mary Magdalen’s Church of England Primary School in Accrington, Lancashire.

In December, a letter was sent to the St. Mary Magdalen community, notifying parents that the teacher formerly known as Mr. Nathan Upton had "made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman."

The letter was eventually given to the media, some parents openly discussed their concerns and U.K. news outlets ran the story.

In her suicide note, Meadows cited debt, bereavements and stress at her job but made no mention of the press' intrusion into her life, the Guardian notes. However, Singleton told the press "shame on all of you" and singled out the Daily Mail for its "ridicule and humiliation" and "character assassination."

Richard Littlejohn had penned an article for the Daily Mail called "He's not only in the wrong body... he's in the wrong job," in which he reasoned that Meadows' presence in the classroom would have a "devastating" effect on the children.

The Daily Mail has denied any connection between Littlejohn's article and Meadows' suicide, the BBC notes. The paper argued that Littlejohn "defended the rights of people to have sex change operations."

Meadows seemed content with her decision to continue teaching at St. Mary Magdalen. The school community had offered her support and other teachers viewed the issue as a personal matter.

"This has been a long and difficult journey for me, and it was certainly not an easy decision to make," she wrote in a statement obtained by The Bolton News in December. "I am grateful to governors and colleagues at St Mary Magdalen's for their support. I'd now ask for my privacy to be respected so that I can continue with my job, which I'm committed to and which I enjoy very much."

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