A boy at Robinson Elementary School in Raytown, Mo. will now officially be recognized as a girl by teachers and administrators.
The student, Adam, will now go by the name Jasmine, reports local ABC affiliate KMBC.
Also, over at The Advocate, there is outrage that a letter sent to parents about the transgender elementary schooler’s new name may be a violation of federal law.
Local FOX affiliate WDAF obtained a copy of the May 2 letter from the principal, Elizabeth Arbisi.
“Dear Robinson Parent or Guardian,” it reads, “In the interest of creating a positive and safe learning environment at Robinson, I want to share information with you about a schoolmate of your child’s.”
The letter explains that “a birth-assigned gender male student who has been known as Adam at Robinson has returned to school as a female with the new, preferred name of Jasmine.”
There is no indication that Adam – or Jasmine – has undergone any surgical procedure or biological change.
There is also no indication about which bathrooms the boy with a girl’s name will now use.
The missive merely asks students “to be respectful of all students in their classes and to treat others as they would like be treated.”
The letter also notes that the information about the student “is being shared with parent permission.”
Nevertheless, The Advocate is making a big fuss that the school may have broken federal law by communicating with parents about the student’s desire to change genders.
“Did the district violate federal law in the process?” the gay-and-lesbian website asks breathlessly. The Advocate then goes on to explain that the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (often called FERPA) forbids schools from releasing certain information about students without parental consent.
Transgender advocates are praising the boy’s decision to become a girl at Robinson Elementary.
“This is not about who you want to be. This is what you are,” Caroline Gibbs, of the Transgender Institute, told KMBC with great certainty. “This is a genetic, medical condition, hardwired. One is born with it.”
“Gender identity is separate from sexual orientation,” authoritatively added Jessica Farmer, a therapist who counsels gay and transgender youth.
Parents of other students at the elementary school in the Kansas City suburbs aren’t sure what to make of the situation.
“I don’t know what to think, honestly,” parent Leah Yzagguire told KMBC. “I think it’s kind of sad. I think they’re a little small, but I really don’t know. I just tell my kids to make sure you’re nice to everybody.”
Another parent expressed shock but also approval.
“I am surprised it happened at the elementary level, yes I am. But, freedom, freedom,” Leon Morgan told the ABC station.