New Jersey Middle School Refuses to Allow Transgender Student to Enroll as Female [UPDATED]

transgender teen rachel pepe

Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey is making headlines this morning because of its refusal to allow a transitioning transgender teen to enroll as female. More from Raw Story:

Rachel Pepe attended the middle school last year under her birth name, “Brian,” but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, school district officials told her she would have to return to Thorne dressed as and answering to “Brian.”


Rachel said that over the last year, she “realized I wanted to be a girl. I sort of felt something was missing, that something was wrong.” Her mother, Angela Peters, worries that sending her back to Thorne Middle School as “Brian” would cause a recurrence of the crippling depression that she suffered with last year. ...

Her mother told APP.com that school officials informed her that “[t]hey definitely can’t call her Rachel because on her birth certificate, it is ‘Brian.’” This same official told her that the school lacked the ability to accommodate Rachel, and rejected her mother’s attempts to propose possible solutions.

A more-promising development: Middletown Schools Superintendent William O. George tells the reporter that he is unaware of the controversy, but claims he will do everything he can to accommodate her. "Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority," he says. "We will work with them to find the appropriate placement.”

Let's hope he makes the right decisions. Stay tuned to G Philly for more updates. You can watch more of Rachel's story in the video below.

UPDATE [8/19/2014, 11:39 a.m.]: Superintendent stands up for Rachel Pepe's right to attend middle school as a female.  More here.

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