Childrearing

Some Parents Are Pissed This School Won’t Discriminate Against Transgender Kids

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So often when schools are in the news these days, it is because they are doing something awful to transgender kids, like making them use bathrooms that don’t correspond with their gender identity, or making them wear bright green wristbands to out them as trans so none of the other teachers or students get confused. For once a school is in the news for refusing to discriminate against trans kids, but unfortunately it’s still not a happy story, because some parents are pissed about it.

According to Fox 5 DC,  Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland recently released an instructional video for its teachers and administrators to educate them about transgender students and prepare them for how to handle various situations that might come up when teaching trans kids. Among those issues included bathroom use and overnight trips. The school’s video alerts teachers  to the fact that students will be allowed to use the bathrooms according to their gender identities, and that trans students will be allowed on overnight trips and will be housed according to the gender they identify with.

The video also addressed student privacy, and stated that a student’s gender identity is a confidential matter and the school would not be “outing” students as trans. No other students or parents will be told. In fact, only the faculty deemed to “need to know” would be informed in the first place. (The people in the “need-to-know circle” would be determined by the student and their parents in conjunction with the school.)

That all sounds pretty great! Good for that school district. Unfortunately, some people are reportedly a little perturbed by the idea that the school is not somehow discriminating against trans kids.

“I don’t know what the answer is,” said one mother to Fox 5 News. “I’m not sure that I feel comfortable with the situation of someone who is, let’s say, going through some sort of change and staying with the girls on an overnight trip.”

People who get upset about trans kids always seem to get wrapped up in this weird “wolf in sheep’s clothing” narrative where boys are preying on girls, but they always forget the existence of trans men. Also they always forget that that has never actually happened.

Another parent said that he was in favor of not judging people, which is good. He did say that he’d heard other parents complaining that it “opens up pedophile possibilities,” which is patently ridiculous. The kids in question are the same age as their peers. Nobody’s talking about a 45-year-old man enrolling in public school as an 8-year-old girl.

Trans kids want their privacy and their gender identities respected, and schools should be doing that. They should also be teaching all their students to do that, so that in 20 years they don’t grow up to think trans kids should be shut out of group activities or sent off to use separate bathrooms.

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