education

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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Gender Prison: Transgender student sexually assaulted in California high school boys' room UPDATE: Hoax.

Hercules High School in the northern reaches of San Francisco's Bay Area has been in the news recently for all of the reasons that a school doesn't want to be in the news. Bullying by students, alleged bullying by the principal, a federal investigative report detailing the school's lack of effort in addressing complaints of bullying, and an overwhelming vote of "no confidence" in the principal by the faculty all bleed into the press and/or go viral on the Internet.

And now it has gotten worse.

 

 

 

 

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Maine Supreme Court: Transgender students must have full access toschool facilities

 photo NicoleMaines_zpscd10d3e5.jpgThe Maine Supreme Judicial Court has finally ruled in the case of Doe v Clenchy (pdf). The ruling was that denying Nicole Maines (aka Susan Doe) the use of the girls' restroom of her school violated her rights under Maine's Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. The ruling was the first time that any state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use the restrooms that match their gender.

[The school] agreed with Susan’s family and counselors that, for this purpose (as for virtually all others), Susan is a girl.  Based upon its determination that Susan is a girl, and in keeping with the information provided to the school by Susan’s family, her therapists, and experts in the field of transgender children, the school determined that Susan should use the girls’ bathroom.

This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people. Schools have a responsibility to create a learning environment that meets and balances the needs of all kids and allows every student to succeed. For transgender students this includes access to all school facilities, programs, and extracurricular activities in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.

--Jennifer Levi, director GLAD Transgender Rights Project

Ms. Levi argued the case before the Maine Law Court on June 12.

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Another type of proposal for educational reform

Preface

This diary is not one of those calls for reform that argues that "the schools have failed" and advocates more and harder work for all parties -- that sort of reform was rebutted admirably in a (1996) book titled "The Manufactured Crisis" by David C. Berliner and Bruce J. Biddle. Berliner and Biddle show that the schools do well at what they do and that their main problem is that some of their students are materially disadvantaged, a theme which I will discuss in detail below.

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A point about test scores, human versatility, and climate change

This diary entry is for parents, teachers, students, and anyone involved with America's public school systems. When reading Diane Ravitch's short post of December 3rd in Huffington Post I saw this stunning short paragraph criticizing our national education system's obsession with test scores:

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Bullying of Transgender Student in California...but there is no need for AB1266?

I should not be surprised that the Pacific Justice Institute has not spoken out against the attempt to keep a Texas trans teen's photo out of his high school yearbook…or the recent bullying incident in Hercules, CA. That is, except for the fact that I have expected the PJI to speak out in favor of the bullying by the administrator in the former case and the other students in the latter.

The PJI, along with the National Organization for Marriage, is the muscle behind the ballot initiative to halt implementation of California's AB1266, which provides equal access to educational programs to transgender students. The PJI and NOM think equality for transkids would be an awful thing…a sign of the coming of the apocalypse.

Hercules, CA? Most of us have never heard of it, I'm sure. Hercules is an East Bay city, a former company town, established to house the workers who assembled explosives used for much of the 20th Century. Hercules is 22% White, 19% African American. 46% Asian and 15% Hispanic/Latino.

And they have is a transgender girl in the high school. A cellphone video is circulating which appears to to involve mutual combat involving the transgender girl and three other girls. School officials are saying, however, that the fight was a direct result of bullying.

Police and school officials are investigating [the incident] as a possible hate crime.

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Jeydon only wants his photo in the yearbook Update: It's in!

 photo jeydon2_zps51796b67.jpgLa Feria, TX high school senior Jeydon Loredo just wants to have his picture in his high school yearbook. But La Feria Independent School District Superintendent Rey Villareal has a big problem with that. You see, Jeydon was born and raised to be female. But, like transgender people everywhere, that didn't take.

Villareal has told Jeydon's mother that Jeydon can have his picture in the yearbook only if he wears stereotypically feminine attire, like a blouse or a drape. The superintendent does not take responsibility for this decision, however. Having only been in the job for four months, he says he is deferring to Jeydon's principal. Villareal says the student handbook is clear: the suitability of each photo which appears in the yearbook is subject to the judgement of the principal. Jeydon's family says that in fact Villareal made the decision, not the principal.

 

 

 

Jeydon has everything right in his statement:

 

 

 

I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve grown up with the kids here. I’ve seen those in my community go through troubles, and denying my tuxedo photo would be a way for the district to forget me and everything I’ve brought to this community. The yearbook is for the students, not the faculty or the administration. It is a way for us to remember each other.

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Gender Prison: Oh, noes!!! Transgender teachers!

The Weekly Standard's John McCormack couldn't resist. In the face of the Senate's immanent passage of the Employment NonDiscrimination Act, McCormack stated the real concern: ENDA Would Grant Transgender Rights to Elementary School Teachers…by which I believe he is concerned with the fact that transgender people might…just might…become elementary school teachers.

John, John, John, oh, John. That boat left the dock decades ago. Teaching is one of the foremost occupations that transgender people gravitate to in their lives before transitioning.

McCormack bemoans the numbers calimed by the Human Rights Campaign…that 88% of Fortune 500 companies have formal employment policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. McCormack even brings up the fact that Rick Santorum has a gay friend and confidante.

It's hard to imagine that in the year 2013 that any business in the country could fire someone simply because he is gay without facing a major backlash and boycotts.

Transgender, on the other hand, is a different matter.

ENDA contains no exceptions for schools at any age level (though the law does contain a modest religious liberty provision).

Horrors! Transgender teachers! Run!

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Colorado politician and former Navy Chaplain joins war against Colorado transgender teen

Former (and some would add disgraced) Navy Chaplain Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt has joined in on the battering of Florence, Colorado teen "Jane Doe," who the Pacific Justice Institute has falsely accused of harassing girls in the restrooms and locker rooms. Klingenschmitt, who is running for the Colorado House in District 15, has accused the trans teen of "visually raping" teenage girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the public school children are being told by a demonic spirit, “You must open up your daughter’s privacy to our perversion.” And this demonic spirit inside of this boy is now violating, and for all intents and purposes, he’s raping — at least visually — these teenage girls.

 photo Jane-Doe-Colorado-Transgender-Student-241x300_zps071c54ef.jpg

There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly unique about Jane Doe; she simply had the misfortune of existing in a community where a few intolerant families rallied against her and used an anti-LGBT group to draw national attention to her. But PJI is simply using Jane as an example. There are trans young people in schools all across the country just like Jane who simply want to be safe in school — to be able to go the bathroom or change clothes for phys ed without being ostracized to a staff bathroom or nurse’s office. How that has any impact on other students remains unclear. 

--Zack Ford, ThinkProgress

Jane is now said to be on suicide watch after her family decided she needed professional intervention. There is something to worry about when some right-wing voices say she deserves to die.

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