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Transgender author threatens Bamber Bridge school with legal action

Posted on - 12th February, 2017 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Preston News
Juno Dawson's talks in schools explore sexuality, identity, literature and education
Juno Dawson’s talks in schools explore sexuality, identity, literature and education

A Preston school claims it did not cancel a visit from a transgender author – saying they postponed it instead.

Juno Dawson, who is a multi-award winning young adult author, was due to visit Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School for a school talk.

But the author – whose latest novel is Margot and Me – said her publicist had been given 48-hours notice of the decision.

In a statement to Buzzfeed News the headteacher of Brownedge Martin Reynolds explained the schools position and denied an allegation of discrimination.

He said: “I asked for the visit to be postponed to a later date not cancelled.

“The postponement of Juno’s visit was not due to the fact that Juno Dawson is transgender. We would never discriminate against any individual on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity as we teach our children that each individual person is precious and unique.”

“A representative said she felt the subject matter meant that a visit was inappropriate at this time because we wanted a proper context for it so that our younger students could get more value out of it. We wanted more time to do this theme justice for our younger students.

“We would like to invite Juno into our school later this year when we can make maximum educational impact for all of our children.

“We are a Stonewall Champion School of three years standing because of the way we combat homophobia in society and in schools.”

Dawson, who grew up in West Yorkshire, gives talks to schools as part of the charity Stonewall’s School Role Model programme.

In 2015 she announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.

Dawson tweeted on Tuesday expressing her anger about the cancellation.

She tweeted: “I’m so cross. The LGBTA students @BrownedgeStMary knew I was coming and now that I’m not. What message does that send them? Fuming.”

In a further tweet she claimed the school said she wasn’t appropriate to speak to students and claimed their actions were ‘illegal discrimination’, and legal action has been threatened.

Turton School in Bolton stepped in to take the available date and welcomed Dawson to speak to their students.

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