Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 24 October 2013
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection
General Scheme of Gender Recognition Bill 2013: Discussion (Resumed)
I will be brief as I am aware that another vote will be called. I have a couple of comments to make rather than questions to ask. I also met Mr. Broden Giambrone from Transgender Equality Network Ireland, TENI, last week and I must commend him on a comprehensive discussion and provision of background information into the education issue for me. I am familiar with some of the points raised about the problems with annulment and divorce in this area and agree this is a significant issue involving what is a sad situation for many people. Like my colleagues, I believe this to be an area in which the joint committee can work to improve matters by discussing it and tweaking those things that must be done in this regard.
As I come from the classroom myself, I am very interested in the education point of view. I ask the witnesses to comment on the reports they have received back from the area of education and the problems young people encounter. As I stated, I can imagine this, as I come from a secondary school background myself. It has only been within the past ten years that young people have had the courage to come forward and talk about themselves and their bodies. However, they face huge problems in school. What supports are forthcoming from the Department of Education and Skills when someone comes forward? I understand this may be moving away from the point of today's discussions, but it is important when discussing the age barrier of 18. Do the witnesses believe everything is being teased out within the school system?