education

School Days

The Sodus, NY Central School District has decided to honor a request by a transgender student to use the girl's bathroom and locker room.

After a series of adults spoke against a transgender girl sharing facilities with their children, Jennifer Surridge stood up to speak. A hush fell over the proceedings.

 

 

 

 

My daughter has a civil right to be in the bathroom that she gender identifies with. And your children have the same right to be in the bathroom that they gender identify with. If they choose to leave that's a choice- my daughter is not choosing. She just is.

For years, since she was 3 or 4, she has told me she was a girl and I wasn't excepting. I didn't understand and agree with any of it because I didn't get it.

--Jennifer Surridge

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"Othering" the trans kids in Nevada

The Nevada Assembly Judiciary Committee went out of their way to resurrect and pass a bill which had been idle in the Education Committee for a month.

Disgraced former Speaker Elect Ira Hansen is Chair of the Judiciary Committee, which is dominated by conservative Republicans.

Hansen stepped down as incoming speaker last November after his history of racist and sexist writings was revealed.

Assembly Bill 375 will now go on to the full Assembly after passing on a party-line vote.

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OK. Do let us think about the children

Everyone knows the right wing oratory. When it comes time to adress LGBT...especially T, rights, the religious conservatives are all, "Think about thew children!"

I do. All the f'ing time!

Let's think about some of the children whose stories I have recently run across, shall we?

Let's think about Tom Sosnik.

 

 

For a while, I dismissed the fact that I hated my body. I pretended to be content with what I was assigned until, at a certain point, I broke.

I went through a series of horrible breakdowns. And I would stand under the water in the shower crying. I knew I wasn't happy.

I am no longer Mia. I never really was. And now I finally stand before you in my true and authentic gender identity as Tom. I stand before you as a thirteen-year-old boy.

I really hope that you all will support my decision to embark on a harder route in life as the boy I truly am. Any form of support I receive with much gratitude and I hope that everyone can really support me because you guys are like my second family. And if you support me, I'll feel like the luckiest boy in the world. Thank you for letting me share my story.

In my heart, I am still the same person. Whether you like that person or not, it’s me.

--Tom

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On Whimsy

Being Different photo bdif.jpgApparently this was written when I wasn't having a particularly good day. Somebody posted something and I felt like it needed a response. And thinking about it, I felt maybe it might be a teaching moment, so a comment became a diary.

Such things rarely have proved to be overtly beneficial.

The graphic to the left is entitled Being Different. The cell being attacked by antibodies theme reflects how transpeople often feel in this society.

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Character Development

with Alicyn, 1993 photo wAlicyn.jpgAutobiography should not be only about the things to happened to me. If that was all it was, I would appear to be devoid of agency. It's also not only about the places I've been and events I have witnessed. That might rather be a travelogue. I believe my autobiography should reveal who I am...or have been...maybe even who I will be or might have been.

So I was looking for some essays I will be sharing in the next few days concerning Crises 1 and 2, when I stumbled upon something I wrote in April of 2006 and published to the 21st issue of Teacher's Lounge, which some may recall that I created and operated in the way back. It was a bit of a rant...and a bit of me.

An educated mind is an opened mind. An opened mind is a liberal mind. Teachers don't have to intend to create liberals, it happens naturally.

I am totally aware that the subject matter may chase away some of my readers. But any subject matter contains the seeds of that possibility.

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Gender Prison: Women's colleges move toward opening doors to trans women

Trustees at Barnard have been considering whether or not trans women are women as far as their admissions policy goes.

The time has come for us to examine how we, as a women’s college, define ‘women,’ and how, consequently, we both admit and graduate students.

--Debora L. Spar, Barnard president

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Transgender Awareness

 photo TGAW-2014-header-640x283_zps64a34588.png photo TDORwebsitesmall_zps9f7eae10.png

 

 

 

 

Hello!
 

 

 

 

It's Transgender Awareness time. In some locations it's the entire month of November. Some locales are celebrating for a week...generally around November 10-20...ending with Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 and/or Transgender Day of Celebration on November 21.

So I guess it is my job to help make you aware. :-)

I've got some videos from the I Am project and some news bits which I hope fit that agenda.

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Mills becomes first single-sex college to admit transgender students

 photo mills_hall_oakland_ca_zps049e50bf.jpgMills College in Oakland, CA has become the first single-sex institute of higher education to admit transgender students. Opened 162 years ago Mills will now welcome anyone who identifies as female into its all-women undergraduate program.

Mills is now the only one of the 119 single-sex colleges in the United States to have an official policy accepting transgender applicants. The new policy takes effect for the first time tomorrow, when the new semester starts.

The new policy allows for anyone who self-identifies as a woman to apply to the school, including trans women, people identified as female at birth but “do not fit into the gender binary," and women who have not yet legally transitioned to the male gender but may plan to at some point. Women who transition to male after enrolling may stay and graduate.

 

 

We were the first women’s college west of the Rockies. We were the first women’s college to have a computer science program. This is just another in many firsts.

--Mills President Alecia DeCoudreaux

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Louisville principal protects rights of transgender freshman

There was a problem at Atherton High School in Louisville, KY. As usual the cause of the problem was mostly identified as being a transgender student.

From the point of view of us transpeople, the problem is generally with those who cannot adapt to our existence and presence.

Principal Dr. Thomas Aberli had made a decision to allow a transgirl student to use one of the girls restrooms and girls locker rooms. According to reports this prompted complaints from parents and students. From past experience, I would hazard a guess that it was more parents than students with a problem.

On Thursday the school administration adopted a new non-discrimination policy which adds "gender identity" to the list of factors protected to the districtwide previous policy.

 

 

Advocates for the transgirl said the decision supported transgender students and were in line with the extension of Title IX protections to trans students by the DoE Office of Civil Rights.

Michael Aldridge of the Kentucky ACLU said the new policy "helps these students know their rights are protected."

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Teaching while transgender

Lumberton, TX Independent School District substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug has been suspended for being transgender. The school district says they are "looking into the matter"...and that Klug has not been terminated...yet. Klug is supposed to hear about the resolution of the school board today, after the school board met on Thursday.

Klug substituted for a teacher in a fifth grade class last Thursday, which was the first day she discovered that someone might have "issues".

Parents of some of the students at the school say, of course, that they don't have any problems themselves with the teacher being transgender, but that the teacher may be confusing the 11-year-olds who are in her charge.

Within an hour of them being exposed or dealing with this, there's a few issues here, I think these kids are too young for this issue, so that's our main focus is, if it happens in older grades, high school, ok but too young for this.

--Roger Bread, parent

Other parents say there has not been an issue before with Klug and they don't see why it is an issue now...and that they have no problem explaining to their child what a transgendender person is.

My son knows who he is and I don't think any outside influence is going to change that, I'm more concerned about straight predatory teachers rather than I am someone who lives an alternative private alternate lifestyle, I don't worry about my son.

--Jammie Marcantel, parent

Texas, of course, has no employment protections for transgender people.

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