A BOY aged 12 turned up at school as a GIRL - after changing sex during the summer holidays.
Teachers called an emergency assembly to order fellow pupils to treat him as female.
The lad, whose parents have changed his name to a girl's by deed poll, arrived in a dress with long hair in ribboned pigtails. He is preparing for sex-swap surgery.
One mum said: "They behaved appallingly by throwing this hand grenade into the room and then leaving the inevitable questions about it for unprepared parents.
"Maybe we could have explained sexual politics and encouraged our kids to be more sensitive if we'd had a chance to be involved."
It is understood he hoped his transformation would go unnoticed
as he was starting secondary education and children stepping up from other primary schools would not recognise him.
But his former classmates at primary level DID spot the difference
- and quickly spread the word. well DUHHH! I would be worried about them if they hadn't noticed!
The boy, who for years has told pals he yearns to be a girl, had to endure spiteful jibes and was asked by some kids: "Are you gay?"
His family, who live on a council estate, have received threats
and are under police protection.
It is understood the head at his primary school insisted he was treated as a boy - and used male toilets - despite his frequent "girlie" behaviour.
He wore a bikini instead of trunks at swimming lessons, dried himself on Barbie towels, rode a pink scooter to school and wore pink ribbons in his hair.
Transgender counsellor David Hawley last night paid tribute to the pupil's "strength of character".
He said: "It is very unusual for a child of that age to be that clear about what they want to do.
She has had a lot of support from her parents. So I imagine she was comfortable with herself before going to school and now she is discovering it can be a nasty world, which is hard at that age."
Psychotherapist James Caspian said the child would not be allowed hormone treatment in the UK until passing puberty.
Meanwhile he and the other kids would have to cope with the shockwaves caused by the switch.
Mr Caspian said: "These children are old enough to have picked up a lot of taboos from society."
German Kim Petras - born Tim - became the world's youngest transsexual at 16 earlier this year.