Cross-dress row sparks rights probe

Cross-dress row sparks rights probe

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been asked to help a male teacher at risk of being fired from a school in Buri Ram because he wears women's clothing in class.

It would be "wrong" if he had to leave the school over the dress-code issue, NHRC member Angkhana Neelapaijit commented after receiving a petition from the Rainbow Sky Association on Monday.

A dismissal is usually ordered when a state official commits a disciplinary violation, she said, adding the NHRC will look into the case. The names of the school and the teacher were withheld.

The cross-dresser, who works as an assistant teacher at the school, was given a warning about wearing dresses and subsequently got low grades in performance assessments, except for his teaching, according to the Rainbow Sky Association.

The LGBT advocacy group backed its accusation with an audio clip it claimed was a conversation between the assistant teacher and the school director, who allegedly told him if he did not change his behaviour, he might not pass his next assessment. The group said the teacher had no problem when he previously taught at another school, which gave him more freedom of expression.

"Teaching never discriminates against genders but prejudice does," a representative from the Rainbow Sky Association said.

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