Transgender Student Suffers Discrimination at Rome High School

Transgender Student Suffers Discrimination at Rome High School
Source: © Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, November 20, 2017

Felicia Insinger,

Europe and Human Rights Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence

On Tuesday 8 November 2022, a transgender student at the Liceo Scientifico C. Cavour (Cavour scientific High School) in Rome was returned an assignment by his art history teacher with his name crossed out and rewritten to his (female) birth name (Pledge Times, 2022). According to the teacher, he rewrote the name because it did not match the one on the boy’s identity card (Italy 24 News English, 2022). However, as allowed by the school, the boy was using an alias career: students who have documents with names that do not identify their gender, can sign a document and be called by classmates and teachers with another name, even if that name is not officially recognised (Italy 24 News English, 2022).

Born genetically female, since the 18-year-old student was 15, he felt like a boy (Italy 24 Press News, 2022). He has embarked on a path to the public services that deal with gender dysphoria and is waiting to start a hormonal treatment to activate the gender transition (Italy 24 Press News, 2022). Relying on Article 4 of the ‘Alias Identity Regulation’ approved by the school (Rabbai, 2022), the trans student signed a verification with his new name, which is not yet on his official documents, but by which he can be called already within the school (Italy 24 News English, 2022). 

Commenting on the incident with his professor for the Italian online newspaper, the boy said that his teacher completely ignored him when he told him that it was his right to sign with his chosen name. I felt really humiliated, because he started repeating my birth name in front of the whole class, but not once, he repeated it a lot of times,” the boy said. 'Your name is X, on the paper you have to write X, do you understand, X?', he told me.” (Tecnica della Scuola, 2022). According to the newspaper La Repubblica, the teacher also said: “Now you will see what happens with the right-wing government.(Tecnica della Scuola, 2022).

The teacher expressed his disagreement about the boy’s gender before, considering the student a girl. “When he would pass me in the corridors he would call me 'Miss',” the boy recalled. “I find this disrespectful no matter what, but why do it if he already knew that I don't feel like a woman? I was tired of hearing his provocations: one can make a mistake with a pronoun once, but if I have to correct it every ten minutes, maybe it is not a distraction, but a person doing it voluntarily.(Tecnica della Scuola, 2022).

When the boy tried to show the regulation to his teacher on his phone, the latter answered that the Regulation did not interest him and continued shouting at the student (Tecnica della Scuola, 2022). Finally, the boy went to the vice principal’s office (Tecnica della Scuola, 2022), where he even cried because of the treatment by his teacher (Pledge Times, 2022). Although the school stayed on the student’s side and the teacher (seemingly unwillingly) apologised the next day, the latter did not receive any disciplinary measures, contrary to the student’s wish (Tecnica della Scuola, 2022).

Following the situation, the Italian Middle School Students Network and the Gay Centre asked the Minister of Education, Giuseppe Valditara, for approval of career alias nationwide and planned to hold a large demonstration on November 18 (Pledge Times, 2022).

Sources and Further Reading

admin_l6ma5gus. (2022, November 11). “The professor told me that now everything will change with the right”: the trans student discriminated against at Cavour speaks. Pledge Times. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from

Italy 24 News English. (2022, November 11). Prof del Cavour against the career alias of the trans student. Italy 24 Press News. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from

Italy 24 Press News. (2022, November 10). Transgender student: Valditara, no discrimination at school – Lazio. Italy 24 Press News. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from

Rabbai, A. (2022, November 9). Studenti del liceo Cavour contro un prof: “A ragazzo trans ha detto per me sei donna”. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from

Redazione. (2022, November 11). Carriera alias, lo studente discriminato al Liceo Cavour: “Il prof mi ha umiliato e mi ha detto che con la destra cambierà tutto”. Tecnica della Scuola. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from

Redazione ANSA. (2022, November 10). Studente transgender: Valditara, a scuola nessuna discriminazione. Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata. Retrieved 14 October, 2022, from

Redazione ANSA. (2022, November 10). Transgender student suffers discrimination at Rome school. ANSA English. Retrieved October 14, 2022, from