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Aussie mum lashes out after trans daughter rejected from all girls’ school

Rachel Lang

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| Last updated 

Aussie mum lashes out after trans daughter rejected from all girls’ school

An Australian mum has lodged a complaint to the Human Rights Commission after a Brisbane all girl’s school rejected her trans daughter’s application for enrolment. 

Emma Jensen launched the discrimination battle against Brisbane’s Carinity Education Southside after her biological daughter Rylee, 13, was accepted at the school but her trans daughter Harley, 12, was not. 

Emma Jensen and Harley. Credit: 7News
Emma Jensen and Harley. Credit: 7News

Ms Jensen told 7News that she was told by staff at Carinity Education Southside that Harley’s biological sex would not pose an issue for enrolment.

But the day after her meeting with the school to discuss Harley's future at the facility, the family claimed they received a call rejecting the 12-year-old's application.

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According to Ms Jensen, the school said they would 'accept Rylee but we’re not taking Harley because she’s a male'.

Erin Oostenbroek, the family’s long-time social worker, corroborated the family’s claims. 

She also said the schooling saga has had a significant impact on Harley at 'such a vulnerable time' in her life.

"It’s something that she’s had to deal with ... purely on the basis of the birth certificate and the gender that’s identified there," Oostenbroek added, according to 7News.

“It’s unreasonable.”

Both Harley’s mum and her social worker claim they have noticed changes in the 12-year-old’s behaviour since the school rejection, describing the child as ‘depressed’ and ‘withdrawn’. 

Ms Jensen launched a complaint over Harley’s rejection with the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC), with them agreeing in May to mediate dispute resolution between the family and the school.

The two parties, however, could not reach an agreement.

The family has also lodged a complaint with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and they are now awaiting a date to be set for their hearing.

Ms Jensen told 7News that Harley has ‘the right to be who she wants to be’ and no one else ‘has the right to judge her for that and question that’. 

Carinity Education Southside, however, tells a different story.

Rylee and Harley Jensen. Credit: 7News
Rylee and Harley Jensen. Credit: 7News

According to the Carinity, Harley’s biological sex had no impact on her application - she didn’t meet the requirements to be enrolled in their special assistance school.

“We have seen no evidence [that] this student meets the requirements to attend our special assistance school at Carinity Southside,” a statement from the school read, as per 7News.

“These requirements include potential students not being enrolled at or attending another school,” the statement said.

The school went on to add it has no issue with transgender people and is ‘supportive of [their] transgender students’.

“Across our schooling network we have a number of students who identify as transgender."

Featured Image Credit: 7News.

Topics: Australia, LGBTQ, News, Parenting

Rachel Lang
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