education

Taking it to court

Taking it to court

FreeState Justice has filed a lawsuit in Federal court against Talbot County on behalf of a 14-year-old Maryland transgender boy accusing an Eastern Shore school system of violating Title IX by denying him access to locker rooms consistent with his gender identity.

The boy, who was not identified in the lawsuit, will be a ninth grader at St. Michaels Middle-High School, and wants to try out for soccer in August, according to Jer Welter, FreeState Justice's deputy director and managing attorney.

During last school year, the boy used a gender neutral restroom far from the gym and his classrooms.

This has been a problem. It is stigmatizing for him. It marks him as different from the other students.

--Welter

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Dorchester County, SC, School District settles discrimination case

The US DoE's Office of Civil Rights yesterday announced that Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina has entered into a voluntary agreement to stop discriminating against a transgender elementary school student. THE OCR had found that the district was in violation of Title IX's prohibition on sex-based discrimination.

I commend Dorchester County School District Two for committing to protect the civil rights of all students and ensuring that all students have equal access to education programs and activities.

--Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights

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Rhode Island Catholic Day School reverses exclusion of trans students

Mount Saint Charles Academy is a catholic junior/senior high school in Woonsocket, Rhode Island run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

A week ago concerned alumni noticed that since October of last year, the parent-student handbook included the following, without any explanation:

Mount Saint Charles Academy is unable to make accommodations for transgender students. Therefore, MSC does not accept transgender students nor is MSC able to continue to enroll students who identify as transgender.

Transgender status was, in fact, the only stated exclusion listed in the handbook.

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Child Advocacy groups urge governors to veto anti-transgender legislation

 photo A_TransGender-Symbol.pngThe American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers and the National Education Association have joined together to write an open letter to the nation's governors stating their opposition to bills which target transgender students such as the one awaiting the signature of Governor Daugaard in South Dakota.

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"Another case of the governor not following the law"

Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the Maine Human Rights Commission and state's the Department of Education to cease issuing rules protecting transgender students.

Schools instead are being given guidelines that lack the force of law.

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said LePage has read the court decision and believes it requires the Legislature to take action, and that new rules are not required.

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A Settlement in Palatine

The Illinois School District 211 school board in Palatine, Illinois voted in the wee hours of last evening to approve a settlement about a transgender girl's access to girl's locker room facilities, much to the apparent displeasure of many in the community.

With hundreds gathered in the cafeteria at Hoffman Estates Conant High School last evening, the majority speaking against any settlement, but apparently favoring rather punishment of the child who dares to be different.

Signs were carried by opponents to fairness which read:

 

Settling is losing. 

God does not make mistakes. God made man and then God made woman.

 

As always, I would respond to that, using their own vernacular, with, "And God made transgender people, but your God is too limited to have done anything like that."

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Confused Christian staff members dismissed from Texas Learning Center

There is a six-year-old boy in Katy, TX who is transgender. His parents, who happen to be a gay couple, informed the Children's Lighthouse Learning Center that their child now should be referred to as a boy and disclosed his new name.

The school administrators were okay with that. Indeed, they appear to have been prepared for their first transgender child. A set of guidelines entitled How to Handle Transgender Students was distributed to staff members.

Two "Christian" staff members objected. They were fired.

As you might imagine, this has caused an uproar from certain sources.

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Ms. K. passes

 photo 28KROLIKOWSKI-obit-blog427_zps9f9dsjzv.jpgMarla Krolikowski was better known at her workplace as Mr. K. Mr. K. was a teacher at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, Queens for 32 years before a complaint by one lone parent about the teacher's feminine appearance caused administrators to go ballistic.

Mr. K, for as long as we have known him, has always donned several gold hoop earrings, dyed hair, fashionable (but appropriate and professional) clothing, and well-manicured nails. This was never an issue amongst his students or their parents until that one student’s mother complained to the school.

His long track record of spectacular teaching seemed to carry no weight when a lone parent complained about his ‘feminine’ appearance back in 2011.

--Cristina Guarino, former student

Krolikowski was fired from her teaching job for "insubordination" in 2011, but fought back.

Marla Krowlikowski collapsed on September 20 and was taken to Nassau Communities Hospital, where she died. No cause of death has yet been determined. She was 62.

Perhaps it was a broken heart.

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Five advocacy organizations join together to assist transgender students nationally

The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gender Spectrum, the National Education Association, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined forces to produce Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools for distribution to various school administrations.

The publication's aim is to provide an informative guide to help school officials as well as parents assist and encourage transgender students.

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