Education

Tribune reporter communicates with Student A

The Chicago Tribune's Rex Huppke Has attempted to bring some sanity into the case of the Palatine transgender strudent.

At the center of a suburban school board's dispute over allowing a transgender student access to the girls locker room there is, of course, a human being.

A teenage human being. A female teenage human being who I believe would appreciate it if people would stop trying to tell her who she is and who she is not.

That's the point, Rex.

At bottom, they do not accept that we are human beings.

A settlement was reached last week to allow this girl to use th girls locker room, but that didn't end the disagreement between the Department of Education and the school board, so the school board met again last night and reaffirmed the settlement.

We believe this is the best course of action for this student while balancing the needs of all the teenage students in our district. The district will accommodate gender-identified locker room access for this student predicated on agreement to use the privacy measures provided.

We are installing privacy curtains in our locker rooms, with the assurance that this student will use them.

--school board President Mucia Burke

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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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DoE to Illinois school district: We're serious

Yesterday federal education authorities found that Township High School District in Palatine, IL violated anti-discrimination laws when it denied a transgender girl who participates on a girl's sports team free access to change and shower in the girl's locker room.

Education officials said the decision was the first of its kind on the rights of transgender students, which are emerging as a new cultural battleground in public schools across the country. In previous cases, federal officials had been able to reach settlements giving access to transgender students in similar situations. But in this instance, the school district in Palatine, Ill., has not yet come to an agreement, prompting the federal government to threaten sanctions. The district, northwest of Chicago, has indicated a willingness to fight for its policy in court.

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Rural California town models support

I'm sure that very few of you have ever heard of Denair, CA. It's a "census designated place" in Stanislaus County, CA. Not enough of a hint? It's near Turlock. Doesn't help? That's between Modesto and Merced. Central Valley.

Population was 4404 in 2010. The town encloses a grand total of 2 square miles.

It really epitomizes the phrase "small town." Except the part about the government not thinking it is large enough to be called a town.

Denair calls itself "The Oasis of the San Joaquin Valley."

In 2010 Denair had 10 same-sex married couples/domestic partnerships. 22% of the residences were rentals. 32% of the residents identify as Hispanic or Latino. In 2000 16% of the population lived below the poverty line.

As the Wikipedia entry for Stanislaus County says,

Stanislaus County is not a great place, it's just a place in the Central Valley.

 photo anry-fuentes-x750_zpswls1aeat.jpgAnry Fuentes lives in Denair. She is a transgender teen. When she she told her mother last year that she was going to come out, her mother kicked her out of their home.

Well my mom kicked me out. I’m not mad at her or hate her. I understand where she’s coming from. She was raised differently, and I can’t judge her for that. If I did regret [coming out] then I wouldn’t be this happy. It's much harder to hide than to come out as yourself.

--Anry

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DoE, DoJ step up for Gavin Grimm in 4th Circuit

 photo Gavin_zpsuoaqpjow.jpgWhen last we encountered Gavin Grimm, Gloucester County Schools were still preventing the trans teen from using the boys room and the district had received the blessing of District Court Judge Robert Doumar in Norfolk.

Gavin's ACLU attorneys have asked an appeals court to replace Doumar, who denied his request for a preliminary injunction, because Doumar has made statements that he is "suspicious of modern medical science regarding gender identity." The lawyers say that Doumar has repeatedly referenced Gavin's "mental disorder" and accused him and them of just seeking publicity.

Yesterday the Department of Educations Office of the General Council and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division filed a 40-page friend-of-the-court brief with the 4th US Circuit Court on behalf of Grimm.

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Vituperation in Edmonton

The Edmonton Catholic School District has been trying to come up with a policy about transgender students, as required by the Alberta Ministry of Education.

The result, as you might imagine, has been a lot of screaming and shouting.

 

 

Lead transphobe has been Trustee Larry Kowalczyk. Back in September his statement about the possibility of a policy was:

I see that as a mental disorder, my faith sees it as a mental disorder.

My stand is with that of the church. God has not made a mistake in the gender of me, or you, or anyone else.

--Kowalczyk

In the earlier interview, he compared transgender people to those suffering from schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder.

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Segregation: not just another word for privacy

Township High School School District 211 in Palatine, iL has a transgender student. In 2014, the girl was allowed to play sports, but has been forced to change in a separate room located a long way away from the gym.

The ACLU assisted the student to file a complaint with the DOE, calling the district's stance "blatant discrimination, no matter how the district tries to couch it."

We're talking about somebody who is being denied fair and equal treatment as compared to the other students, only because she is transgender.

--John Knight, ACLU of Illinois

Federal officials responded to the complaint, which was filed about a year and a half ago with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, by saying the school is in violation of the Title IX gender equality law, according to the ACLU and district officials. A representative of the civil rights office could not be reached Monday.

Following precedent in two similar cases in California, DOE's Office of Civil Rights informed District 211 in a not-yet-public decision that depriving the student of equal access to facilities violates Title IX’s sex nondiscrimination protections, calling such treatment "inadequate and discriminatory."

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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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Nursing schools didn't want "her kind"

 photo blossom-brown-1-600_zpsic7dvh7f.jpgBlossom Brown is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women, with a degree in public health, and a native of Jackson, MS. Having earned what she descibes as an "awesome GPA," and wanting to be able to give back to her community, she applied to some nursing schools.

She received six rejections which she thinks were unfair.

People always say, 'You're going to confuse the patients,' or, 'We don't want your kind here.'

People were looking at that, and you need to be looking at my hard work and dedication that I put into that hard work.

--Blossom Brown

You see, Blossom Brown is a transgender woman.

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