Parents of students at a British primary school were surprised to receive a letter informing them that their children's teacher, who had previously presented as a man, would return to school after the holiday break as a woman.
The Daily Mail reports that Nathan Upton, who has taught at Accrington's St. Mary Magdalen's School for three years, will be known to students as Lucy Meadows from the start of 2013. At present, Meadows teaches children between the ages of 10 and 11 at the Church of England primary school.
The letter, which was reportedly hand delivered to parents, read in part: “Mr. Upton has recently made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman. After the Christmas break, she will return to work as Miss Meadows.”
View the letter below, then scroll down to keep reading:
A statement cited by The Bolton News quotes Meadows as saying, "This has been a long and difficult journey for me, and it was certainly not an easy decision to make." After thanking colleagues for their support, she added, "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."
Noting that the case was "bound to arouse interest," headteacher Karen Hardman said, "This is a personal matter for our staff member, who has our full support, and we are all working together to ensure it has the least impact on the smooth running of our school."
Nonetheless, Meadows' revelation has generated a heated response from some parents. "All of a sudden he is going to be coming to school after Christmas as a woman," Wayne Cowie, who has three sons at the school, told the Daily Mail. “They are too young to be dealing with that.”
Still, Paris Lees, editor of transgender magazine META, told PinkNews.co.uk, “It’s wonderful to see a valued teacher supported by the school. Some parents may not feel ready to talk about transgender issues to their young children -– and that’s understandable. But the reality is that transgender people do participate in public life, and there’s little to be gained by pretending that we don’t exist."