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



From the Principals

Michael Allison is president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. He is principal of a high school in Pennsylvania.

He has written an opinion essay at

While it was brave of Mr. Allison to take the message to the enemy camp, I would keep the women and children away from any responsive commentary.

The public debate about whether to uphold the rights of transgender students rings hollow to school leaders, who commit to seeing each unique child and creating the school conditions in which each child can succeed. That commitment is not limited just to students who look or behave in ways our culture labels normal. It’s for all kids.

We can’t ignore the research that reveals transgender students are more likely to feel unsafe and be victimized in school. And fear for their safety causes one in three of these students to miss at least one day of school each month. The research links a 90 percent school attendance rate closely to academic success, so more absences means less learning, lower grades, and a smaller chance of success after high school. In short, kids who live in fear don’t learn very well.

In light of these details, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NAASP) on May 5 adopted a position in support of the rights of transgender students and requesting the federal government to clarify the law.



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.



Trans boy suspending for using the boys room in South Carolina

It's South Carolina, so don't expect a happy ending.

When the boy, who wishes to remain anonymous, began transitioning when he was in middle school, girls complained that there was a boy in their bathroom. So he was allowed to use the boys room. He did that for three years without incident.

Then the boy moved on to Socastee High School. Again, no problem for three years.

One day a male teacher was leaving the boys restroom while the boy was entering.

No word on what the hell the adult teacher was doing in the boys room.

He must’ve looked at his records and saw the sex on his records because that’s the only way he could’ve known.

--the boy's mother

Instead of the teacher being told by the administration to butt out, the boy was called in to the office and told he must use the girls bathroom or go to the nurse's office.

If he started using the girl’s bathroom in 12th grade, it’s going to create a problem. I felt like that would be dangerous.

The nurse’s office is downstairs on the first floor of the school and the school has three stories.




"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.



What goes around comes around

Occasionally there are reminders of days long past...days that have receded into the fog of my past. A name might pop up here or there...reminding me that we corresponded with each other once upon a long time ago...that one or both of us might have been exploring a new life...or at least the possibility of one. Our names might even have been different then.




Christie links transgender kids with terrorism

NJ. Governor: Transgender? Terrorism!!

A California woman asked Gov. Christie about California's 2013 law which allows transgender and gender non-conforming students to use the restroom which most closely aligns with their gender identity.

Christie responded by trotting out his transphobia: He said that life was simpler in New Jersey...



Science tackles human brain structure

I always used to cringe when I heard someone try to explain being transgender in terms of "male brains" or "female brains."

It has been my belief that gender is more complicated than that. But then, it has also long been my belief that it shouldn't really matter why we ar transgender...we're all human beings and should all be according the respect and dignity due all human beings.

Be that as it marches on.



Exempting discrimination

You've no doubt never heard of Multnomah University. It's in Northeast Portland, on Glisan between 82nd and the 205.

Heck, I grew up in a suburb of Portland and I'd never heard of it until now.

Multnomah University is a non-denominational Christian university in Portland, Oregon. Multnomah consists of a college, graduate school, seminary and Degree Completion Program, and the university offers bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.

MU's President G. Craig Williford wrote a letter to the US Department of Education in February saying that MU "affirms the dignity of all human beings."

Then he basically asked the Department of Ed to agree with him that transgender people deserve no compassion, because evidently they are not human.

The tiny, 79-year-old nondenominational university is one of a growing number of religious schools around the country asking the federal government for an exemption from anti-discrimination laws where gender identity is concerned.

Basically, the school's arguing its religious beliefs don't allow it to accept or employ transgender people, but that should have no bearing on the federal funding it happily accepts each year.




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