My son is going to start grade 9 so it will be his first year of high school. When he came out I thought it was a good idea to meet with the school. I also thought it was a good idea that James comes with me.
I called the high school before it closed for the summer and got an appointment in guidance along with the social worker for the school. I was dreading this appointment and wasn’t sure what to expect. I am not too sure if James thought anything of this.
I wanted to meet the high school so James would be safe and know his options.
We meet with a guidance counsellor at the school and he was great. The counsellor asked permission to email a note to all his teacher to call him by James and that he identifies as a male so use the male pronoun. He also made a note on his file on the computer. He went over James schedule and we got to make adjustments. James asked some questions that he was concerned about. One being gym. We can deal with the gym issue later in the upper years when their is a co-ed gym class. I was happy that we met the counsellor. He was amazing and sensitive to the situation.
Next was the social worker. What a nice lady. She was so understanding. She assured us that James was not the only trans person at the school. She would like James to check in at least once a month for the first bit to ensure he is comfortable and feels safe. She told James many times that if he is in a situation that makes him feel uncomfortable, go see her right away or his guidance counsellor. There is also a LGBTQ2 club at the school if he was interested. She also told him about other clubs at the school.
We were both so blown away with the interaction with the high school. Things went so much better than I had hoped. We both left feeling very good.
On a side note – when we met with the guidance counsellor he told us that the high school is offering summer school in July that James could take. It was only offered to incoming grade 9 students plus he would get a credit for doing summer school. James decided to register and he had a great time. He never once complained about getting up or the distance he had to travel. It takes him approximately one hour to get to school by TTC. He loved summer school plus he is now familiar with the school and has met other students. He became friends with a few other children who attended summer school. A great experience!
I am hoping this is going to be a beginning of a wonderful experience for him. As long as he is safe – that’s all that matter. Oh ya, happy as well. LOL
James comment – the first student I met at summer school was another trans child. I felt very comfortable going to this new school.