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Today is Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Students Applaud Transgendered Teacher's Return to School

[VANCOUVER, BC] - A transgendered teacher at a Vancouver elementary school, received a round of applause from students when she returned to work Monday.

Jack Johnston took a medical leave of absence from the school last July. He was diagnosed by medical doctors as a transgendered person, someone who changes their gender in order to successfully carry on with their lives.

Johnston's identity was changed legally and medically to Jenna Stuart and Monday was her first day back in her Grade 5 class at Henderson Elementary.

Principal Karen Bunting said Stuart's return was noted at the regular weekly assembly of the intermediate students (Grades 4, 5 and 6), including Stuart's class.

"If people are returning from leave as Ms. Stuart was this morning, we welcome her back," Bunting said Monday of the assembly. "She received a round of applause."

The school informed students and parents of Stuart's pending return in a mid-December newsletter.

It offered to make arrangements for any parents who were not comfortable with their children attending the school after Stuart's return. Nine children from six families were moved to new schools.

Overall, Bunting said, she was pleased with the response from most of the school community.

"I take this as parents being understanding and showing tolerance. I think for many of the parents, they know that the school does a very good job of educating and that knowledge is powerful," she said.

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