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Transgender Ex-Principal Promises To Keep Name, Pronouns, Clothing Consistent Upon Returning To School

December 6, 2018

A biological male who identifies as gender-fluid who wasn’t renewed as an elementary school principal in Swampscott earlier this year can come back to the school system as a teacher, under an agreement the educator made with the school district.

But the educator has to get cleared by a psychiatrist and has to stay consistent in the name the educator wants to be called by, the pronouns the educator wants to be used about the educator, and the clothing the educator wears, according to the Lynn Item.

The educator, Thomas Shannon Daniels, made national news in February by coming out as transgender. Daniels had served as principal of Stanley Elementary School in Swampscott since 2012.

At the time, the then-principal told The Boston Globe that the then-principal changed clothes four times a day, identified as both male and female, and that masculine, feminine, and plural pronouns would all be acceptable ways to address the then-principal. At the time, the then-principal planned to drop “Thomas” and go with the then-principal’s middle name, “Shannon.”

Now “Thomas” is back and the preferred pronouns are “he” and “him,” according to the Lynn Item.

This past winter parents complained about Daniels. They focused on the then-principal’s performance on the job, not the the principal’s gender identity, and said they made their complaints to the school district before Daniels went public about being gender-fluid. In March, the school district announced it would not renew Daniels’s contract as principal.

Swampscott school officials announced in mid-October that Daniels would return during the 2019-2020 school year as a teacher. But the details of the agreement became available only last week, from a story in CommonWealth Magazine.

Daniels is on paid leave during the 2018-2019 school year, allowing time for gaining recertification as a teacher. The school district also agreed to pay Daniels a lump sum of $90,000. (One-third went to Daniels’s lawyer. One-third of the payment came from the school district’s insurance company, according to CommonWealth Magazine.)

Daniels’s salary as principal was about $109,000. The new salary as a teacher will be about $79,000, according to CommonWealth Magazine.

Swampscott is an affluent coastal town of about 14,000 about 13 miles northeast of Boston, and is home to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

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