Rachel Pepe, 13, formerly known as Brian, was told by an official at Thorne Middle School in Monmouth, New Jersey that Rachel must come back school “dressed as Brian and prepared to act like Brian.” A Thorne official told Angela Peters, the child’s mother, that the school was not equipped to handle Rachel.
According to Garden State Equality, a civil rights group, the transgender issue has come up a number of times at schools in New Jersey and elsewhere.
A 6-year-old boy in Colorado was able to return to school after winning the right to use the girls’ bathroom in a case fought by the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Middletown Schools Superintendent William O. George addressed the case in general terms.
“We as a district want to do everything we can as a district,” George said. “Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement.”
“I support this without interviewing this child. It certainly is reasonable. Children with psycho-sexual issues often benefit from a fresh start at a new school,” he said.