The boy had told his classmates that for years he had wanted to be a girl.
It is understood that the boy was treated as a male by his primary school principal, despite "girlie" behaviour such as wearing a bikini instead of shorts at swimming lessons, drying himself on Barbie towels, wearing pink ribbons in his hair and riding a pink scooter to school.
The boy, who will remain unnamed, arrived for his first day at secondary school in Sussex in southern England wearing a dress, and with long hair in ribboned pigtails.
His parents have had his name changed to a girl's by deed poll, and the boy is now preparing for hormone treatment and eventual surgery.
The family have been receiving threats and the house is now under police protection.
The Sun does know the identity of the boy but has refused to reveal it.
Maybe we could have explained sexual politics and encouraged our kids to be more sensitive if we'd had a chance to be involved." Deidre Sanders, an agony aunt for British tabloid The Sun, which broke the story, gave her view: "It's ironic pupils will be disciplined if they fail to handle this child's sex change 'sensitively' — when their school could hardly have handled it less sensitively.
Breaking news like this in a mass assembly without pre-briefing parents was crass and cruel — and added to this child's troubles." Because of the tauntings, the boy was absent from school on Thursday.
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