Transgender students need more than a restroom, reports Yasmeen Qureshi for Ed Week. She profiles a transgender student who worked with educators at her Louisville, Kentucky high school to create a welcoming environment for all students.
A (biological) boy won all-Alaska honors in girls’ track and field, reports the Daily Caller. Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, 18, who identifies as a girl, won fifth place in the 100-meter dash and third place in the 200-meter.
“I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are . . . but I don’t think it’s competitively completely 100-percent fair,” said Saskia Harrison, who just failed to qualify for the finals.
“Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage, ” another runner, Peyton Young, told the Alaska Dispatch News.
Wangyot, who moved to Alaska from Thailand two years ago, also competed in girls volleyball and girls basketball earlier this school year.
Is it fair to let someone who’s physically male compete against girls?
Eleven states, including Arizona, Texas and Wisconsin, have filed suit to block the Obama administration’s “guidance” on the right of transgender students to use the school rest rooms and locker rooms of their choice.
The directive would “turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over common-sense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights,” the lawsuit charges.
Oklahoma legislators are considering a bill that would let a student demand a non-transgender restroom, locker room or shower — persons of the same anatomical sex only –as a “religious accommodation.” A private room would not be acceptable.
An award-winning St. Paul charter school is ripping out urinals and creating “gender-neutral restrooms” — at the cost of thousands of dollars, after being sued by parents of a kindergartener, who’s since transferred, reports the Daily Signal.
I predict schools will create private rest rooms and changing stalls in locker rooms to avoid conflict. It will be costly. Will it be worth it?
How many kids are transgender? Nobody knows, reports the New York Times, but it’s almost certainly less than 1 percent.
When Brina Soell became Leo, the fifth-grade teacher asked coworkers to use “they” and “them” instead of “she” or “he.” Soell, who identifies as “transmasculine and genderqueer,” complained of harassment, reports the Oregonian. Gresham-Barlow officials agreed to give Soell $60,000 to settle emotional damage claims, add gender-neutral bathrooms to all schools, clarify policies about transgender teachers and mandate trainings for all principals.
Sexual harassment policies are moving from telling people what not to say to demanding that they “must say certain things,” writes Scott Shackford on Reason.
New York City has threatened employers with heavy penalties if they don’t ensure their employees address each other (and customers) by the pronoun of their choice, including “ze/hir” and other non-standard pronouns. The directive also applies to landlords and tenants, professionals and clients and business owners and customers. Everyone is supposed to ask everyone and remember who’s what.
Requiring people to say things they don’t wish to say violates free-speech rights, writes Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor.
When the government is acting as sovereign, telling us what we must or must not say on pain of coercively imposed legal liability, the First Amendment is at full force. That force, I think, should preclude government commands that we start using new words — or radical grammatical modifications of old, familiar words — that convey government-favored messages about gender identity or anything else.
He notes that Soell complained of harassment, in part, due to other teachers “refusing to call me by my correct name and gender to me or among themselves” (emphasis added), as well as posting “messages on Facebook that denigrate transgender people.”
A Maine school district will pay $75,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit because a transgender girl (who’s biologically male) was told to use a private staff restroom, rather than the girls’ room, reports AP.
Nicole Maines was using the girls’ bathroom in her Orono elementary school until the grandfather of a fifth-grade boy complained to administrators.
Physically male students will share locker rooms and showers with girls, warned the Minnesota Child Protection League.
“Just the mere presence of a male in a girls’ bathroom I can tell you is going to make those girls feel uncomfortable, intimidated, and the potential for them to be emotionally distraught over that certainly exists,” said Michele Lentz, state coordinator for the Minnesota Child Protection League.
In addition, girls will have to compete with bigger, more muscular males, said Lentz.
Only about five transgender students a year in the entire country ask to be on a team that’s not aligned with their birth gender, said Helen Carroll, sports project director for The National Center for Lesbian Rights.
. . . A 2011 NCAA report found that transgender athletes had no competitive advantage over non-transgender athletes.
Sharing showers isn’t a problem, because transgender girls “are very private people,” said Carroll. “They want to have privacy areas in the locker room, they don’t want to shower with other students.”
What if a transgender girl wants to assert her right to use the locker room like other girls?
California schools are preparing for a transgender students’ rights law by “reviewing locker room layouts” and ” scheduling sensitivity training for coaches,” reports AP. Above all, does the school have a private restroom for transgender students or will a biological boy be allowed in the girls’ room?
However the law, which lets public school children use the sex-segregated facilities of their choice, could be suspended within days of its Jan. 1 launch if a referendum to repeal it qualifies for the ballot.
Ashton Lee, 16, a junior at Manteca High School in the San Joaquin Valley, was born female but wants to be treated as male. Last year, he asked to be transferred from an all-girls aerobics class to a team sports class for boys. School officials said no. They reconsidered in the fall.
He now is allowed to use the boy’s restrooms and locker rooms and to wear the junior ROTC uniform for male cadets.
Similar adjustments have been made for five transgender classmates.
Manteca High, located in a conservative rural area, has 1,648 students of which six have declared themselves to be transgender. That seems like a very high number to me. Why has transgender status gone from incredibly rare to . . . not very unusual?
Once eager to ban “biology-based” school restrooms, locker rooms and sports teams, the Maine Human Rights Commission has shelved guidelines that covered everything from preschool to college, reports Fox News. The panel canceled a public hearing on how schools should accommodate transgender students and postponed indefinitely work on a “Sexual Orientation in Schools and Colleges” brochure.