Transgender teacher kills self after Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn denounces her

Lucy Meadows was a teacher. Born male, Lucy transitioned to female later in life, a process that was supported by her employers. Writing at the Daily Mail—one of Britain's largest-circulation newspapers—Richard Littlejohn publicly denounced her in terms usually reserved for child abusers. Not long afterward, Meadows killed herself.

The Daily Mail took the article down upon Meadows' death, but here it is at, and here's a representative excerpt.

What are you staring at, Johnny? Move along, nothing to see here. Get on with your spelling test. Today's word is 'transitioning'.

Mr Upton/Miss Meadows may well be comfortable with his/her decision to seek a sex-change and return to work as if nothing has happened. The school might be extremely proud of its 'commitment to equality and diversity'.

But has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the devastating effect all this is having on those who really matter? Children as young as seven aren't equipped to compute this kind of information. …

It should be protecting pupils from some of the more, er, challenging realities of adult life, not forcing them down their throats.

These are primary school children, for heaven's sake. Most them still believe in Father Christmas. Let them enjoy their childhood. They will lose their innocence soon enough. … Nathan Upton is entitled to his gender reassignment surgery, but he isn't entitled to project his personal problems on to impressionable young children.

You want to point out that children don't do this at all, that prejudices centered on complex cultural issues are learned from adults. You want to wonder at those who would hound people who are already widely victimized, yet remove evidence of their ostensibly principled beliefs when their targets suffer the predictable effects. You want to remark on what a miracle it is that steps toward libel reform can take place at all. You want to wonder at how the children feel at the death of their teacher, children to whom suicide must now be explained.

But most of all, you just want to see Britain lose its interest in the opinions of people like Richard Littlejohn.