A transgender student enrolled in the South Point School of Assam’s Guwahati has been allegedly asked to leave for sharing a picture on the social media platform Instagram wearing a bathing suit, reported The Assam Tribune on Friday.

The class 11 student had posted photos of herself on her private Instagram account.

The principal of South Point School, K Chanda on the night of June 10 allegedly called the student and asked to speak to her mother, reported The Wire. According to the student’s mother, Indrani Chakraborty, the principal described the student’s picture as “shameful and disgusting”.

Chanda also reportedly told Chakraborty that her child should leave the school.

On June 11, when the parents of the student went to the school, Chanda told them that their child could continue if “she deleted her social media account, left her community and ongoing counselling sessions and followed the school counsellor”, Chakraborty alleged, reported The Wire.

“We denied [these conditions] and demanded a transfer certificate,” Chakraborty told The Wire. “I can’t risk her life by sending her in such a toxic environment where students are stalked, policed, shamed and suppressed. With whose permission did they invade my daughter’s privacy? Wearing a bathing suit at the pool is not illegal and it did not happen at the school premises.”

The student has been studying at the South Point School since class 4 and transitioned in class 9, reported The Assam Tribune.

“She has been facing a lot of issues in the school since revealing her gender identity,” the mother of the student told The Assam Tribune. “We had also organised an awareness programme about the gender issue in the school, where some teachers were present.”

School’s statement

Chanda told The Assam Tribune that the school authorities have “instructed the students semi-nude photos” on social media as they had received complaints from some parents.

“We don't have any problem with her gender identity,” said the principal. “We provided psychological support through our counsellor to her and also sensitized our students and teachers. Things were normal when she was in class 9 and 10.”

Chanda added: “But after entering class 11, she did a piercing in face and drew a tattoo in her body. Thereafter, she started uploading some semi-nude photos in social media.”

The principal said the school contacted the student’s parents, who said it was her right to expression. “So, we strictly informed them that she must stop such activities, otherwise she can withdraw the admission.”

Assam’s State Transgender Welfare Board, meanwhile, described the incident as “unacceptable”.

“The student is facing mental trauma,” Assam Rituparna told the news website. “We have already issued a letter to the school from the Transgender Welfare Board. Such incidents must stop in the state.”