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High school forces student to sign contract to stop changing gender identity

A New York high school is forcing one student to pick a gender identity and stick with it after she changed it twice. (2016 file photo/Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

Administrators at a New York high school are forcing one student to pick a gender identity and stick with it after she changed it twice.

Last year, a sophomore student at Valley Stream South High School in Long Island, New York, who was born a female, told administrators she wanted to identify as a male, the New York Post reported.

Though administrators encouraged her to wait until the start of the new semester, given it was so close to the end of the year, they complied with the student’s request and began referring to her with male pronouns.

The student, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Post that the teachers and her fellow classmates made the change and she felt comfortable in her new identity. That is, until this year, when she decided to revert to her biological sex, female.

She decided to resume her classification as a woman because a younger relative, who was unaware of her short-lived male identity, was set to enter the school.

“My parents and friends knew but some of my other relatives — mainly my grandparents — didn’t know,” the student said. “I was worried that this relative would tell them and I just couldn’t deal with that at this point.”

The student’s guidance counselor complied with the flip-flopping teen’s request, with one condition: She had to sign a contract barring her from changing her identity again as long as she was a student at Valley Stream South High School.

The student agreed, though she was frustrated her guidance counselor would force her into making such a decision because “a student should feel safe to figure their identity out no matter how many times they change who they are.”

“They should have just supported me in my decision either way,” she told the Post.

As a result of the school forcing the student’s hand, she now identifies as a gay female — an identity the student said she is likely to maintain because she “came to the realization that gender is not a big deal either way.”

“People can think of me however they want,” she said. “It’s not important.”

As for the administration’s actions, district superintendent Bill Heidenreich told the Post that the school cultivates “a positive environment that promotes acceptance and respect for all.” He added that any allegations of wrongdoing are “taken very seriously.”

“They are thoroughly investigated and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken when necessary,” he said.

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