Published: 12:00, 22 November 2017
An angry mum withdrew her son from school after he was sent home for wearing a wig and make-up.
The mother says her 16-year-old boy is trans-curious and has been dressing as a girl at home.
But when he plucked up the courage to express himself as a female for the first time at the Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey, he was told to go home, take the wig off and remove the make-up.
His furious mum took to social media to vent her frustration and to call for better treatment of pupils.
The mum says he was humiliated in public by a teacher, and she asked for a written apology from the Oasis Academy.
But she took to social media after her demands ended in stalemate and she and her son, 16, stormed out of a meeting with principal John Cavadino.
The school has since called in its regional director to sit down with the family.
The stand-off started two weeks ago when the boy had plucked up the courage to go in to school as a girl for the first time.
"He finally built up enough confidence and he was rejected" - Mother of trans-curious teenager
His mum appealed for friends to help raise awareness that in 2017 schools are still ignorant to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
She described her son as trans-curious, and said he had been struggling with gender identity disorder since he was two and he regularly wore girls’ clothing at home. But this was the first time he had gone out dressed as a female.
She said: “He finally built up enough confidence and he was rejected. He was told his hair was too long and it was impractical for being at school.
“He was told he must take his wig off and become the real him. He was told to go home and remove his wig and make-up.
“He was told it was inappropriate for younger students to see him as a female because it would confuse them.”
An academy spokesman said staff were dedicated to supporting students and making “all reasonable accommodations” for individual needs.
She added: “We have steadfast commitment to being inclusive, treating everyone equally and respecting differences.
“We also have high expectations of students with regard to their behaviour. Our young people must abide by Academy rules and show respect to fellow students and staff at all times.
“We can confirm that academy leaders have had a positive meeting with the parents of one of our students regarding inclusion.”
She said the school was exploring new ways to ensure the needs of all students were accommodated, adding: "We are committed to listening and engaging with all of our young people, and are open to the creation of new groups and initiatives to support our Academy community.”
Today a spokesman added:
"On the day in question, there was a costume event at the Academy in the evening.
"Regrettably this meant that there was some confusion regarding whether our student had worn clothes and make-up for that event or as part of their everyday attire.
"Once this confusion was made clear to us, we immediately moved to resolve this misunderstanding.
"We are happy to confirm that we proactively support our students in the choices that they make regarding how they express themselves, as long as they fulfill their uniform requirements expected of every student.”
The school has agreed to set up an LGBT group for students.
More by this authorJohn Nurden