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Students Who Refuse to Affirm Transgender Classmates Face Punishment

Posted by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:29 AM
  • 364 Replies


By Todd Starnes

Parents across Massachusetts are upset over new rules that would not only allow transgender students to use their restrooms of their choice – but would also punish students who refuse to affirm or support their transgender classmates.

Last week the Massachusetts Department of Education issued directives for handling transgender students – including allowing them to use the bathrooms of their choice or to play on sports teams that correspond to the gender with which they identify.

The 11-page directive also urged schools to eliminate gender-based clothing and gender-based activities – like having boys and girls line up separately to leave the classroom.

Schools will now be required to accept a student’s gender identity on face value.

“A student who says she is a girl and wishes to be regarded that way throughout the school day and throughout every, or almost every, other area of her life, should be respected and treated like a girl,” the guidelines stipulate.

According to the Dept. of Education, transgender students are those whose assigned birth sex does not match their “internalized sense of their gender.”

They said gender nonconforming students “range in the ways in which they identify as male, female, some combination of both, or neither.”

“The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student,” the guidelines dictate. “One’s gender identity is an innate, largely inflexible characteristic of each individual’s personality that is generally established by age four…As a result, the person best situated to determine a student’s gender identity is that student himself or herself.”

The new rules would also prevent teachers and administrators from telling parents with which gender their child identifies.

“School personnel should speak with the student first before discussing a student’s gender nonconformity or transgender status with the student’s parent or guardian,” the directive states.

The guidelines were issued at the request of the state board of education to help schools follow the 2011 anti-discrimination law protecting transgender students.

“These students, because of widespread misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about their lives, are at a higher risk for peer ostracism, victimization, and bullying, the document read.

The Massachusetts Family Institute denounced the new rules calling them a violation of privacy.

“Fundamentally, boys need to be using the boys’ room and girls need to be using the girls’ rooms, and we base that on their anatomical sex, not some sort of internalized gender identity,” said Andrew Beckwith, the institute’s general counsel.

Beckwith told Fox News the new policy has a “very broad standard that is ripe for abuse.”

“The policy allows students to have one gender identity at home and another at school,” he said. “And it refuses to let teachers and administrators tell parents what gender their child is at school.”

Another part of the directive that troubles parents deals with students who might feel comfortable having someone of the opposite sex in their locker room or bathroom.

The state takes those students to task – noting their discomfort “is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.”

And any student who refuses to refer to a transgendered student by the name or sex they identify with could face punishment.

For example – a fifth grade girl might feel uncomfortable using the restroom if there is an eighth grade transgendered boy in the next stall.

Under the state guidelines, the girl would have no recourse, Beckwith said.

“And if the girl continued to complain she could be subjected to discipline for not affirming that student’s gender identity choice,” he told Fox News.

“It should not be tolerated and can be grounds for student discipline,” the directive states.

Gunner Scott, of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, praised the directive – and said punishing students who refuse to acknowledge a student’s gender identity is appropriate because it amounts to bullying.

“The reality is that it’s about creating an inclusive environment for all students to learn,” Scott said.

But many parents disagreed and said the directive actually gives transgendered students more rights and privileges than other students.

“It doesn’t treat all students the same,” said Bill Gillmeister, of Brookfield, Mass. “It has a greater preference to gender-identifying children. That concerns me a great deal.”

Gillmeister told Fox News he has a son and daughter in high school. He also serves as a school committeeman.

He wondered about safety and fairness – especially when it comes to athletics. Under the new rules transgendered students will be allowed to play on either boys or girls teams.

“What about the girl who loses a spot on that basketball team because a boy is able to play as a girl,” Gillmeister wondered.

He worried about boys going into the girls locker rooms and vice versa.

“As a father of a daughter who might be playing sports, that concerns me greatly,” he said. “My daughter would likely not play a sport that she would otherwise play if she knew there was a potential for a boy to walk into the girl’s locker room.”

Gillmeister predicted no matter what happens – there will be lawsuits.

“It will either be the girl who didn’t get a seat on the basketball team because some boy got it or some boy who wanted to use the girls’ room but was denied access,” he said.

Beckwith and others say the education department is using a loophole in the anti-discrimination law to create a “stealth bathroom bill.”

“It’s affecting students as young as kindergarten,” he said.

The directive also calls on schools to implement gender neutral clothing rules.

“For example, some schools require students to wear gender-based garb for graduation or have gender-based dress codes for prom, special events and daily attire,” the directive states. “Schools should eliminate gendered policies and practices such as these.”

They pointed out on school that changed its dress code for the National Honor Society. The new policy does not require girls to wear dresses.

They also instructed schools to stop lining up students based on gender. Instead, they recommended lining up students using their birthdays or alphabetically.

Beckwith said it seems like Massachusetts is trying to create gender-neutral schools.

“They’re encouraging schools to eliminate all gender based distinctions,” he said.

With reporting from Associated Press

source

by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:34 AM
14 moms liked this

I can't put my finger on why...but I don't like this.

MomofHDFandNWF
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OK -- what is up with this white stuff AGAIN!?!? How the heck are we suppose to have an Easter egg hunt outside in 2 days with this snow?
Yesterday at 10:53 AM
by Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:35 AM
10 moms liked this

I may be opening myself up to a bashing -- but, I'm sorry -- as a parent I would not be OK with this!  We had a boy/girl up here in Maine recently that was Jr. High age and decided he was a she and wanted to start using the girl's restroom.  The school administration said "no" and instead gave he/she the option of using a gender-nuetral staff restroom (single seater) instead.  I thought that was a perfectly acceptable alternative... 

There were others that argued that by this student not being able to use the same bathroom as their peers they were being "segregated" from the other students.  He/she could use the student restrooms... they just had to use the restroom that matched their biology, and not their psychology.

IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:37 AM
14 moms liked this

 IMO..TOTAL bs! Seriously this really disgusts me... pc is our destruction.

JulesFairy
by on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:38 AM
1 mom liked this
All I can say is this has cluster*uck all over it. I understand what they are trying to do but some of the rules and regulations, as stated in the article, are going a little far. And they are right, no matter what they do, someone's going to sue. I wish them well on this task but am very happy its not on me to navigate that PC nightmate.
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candlegal
by Judy on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:42 AM
3 moms liked this

Yes it is seriously messed up.   I can't see this lasting too long.   Seriously, the parents have got to be outraged.

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 IMO..TOTAL bs! Seriously this really disgusts me... pc is our destruction.


IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:46 AM

 Yeah, but unfortunately so many ppl sit back and say..well we have to be fair..that's not being fair, thats being afraid to stand up for what's right or rather, what's being done is wrong! It amazes me how many ppl are afraid to say NO this is wrong (on so many subjects).

Quoting candlegal:

Yes it is seriously messed up.   I can't see this lasting too long.   Seriously, the parents have got to be outraged.

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 IMO..TOTAL bs! Seriously this really disgusts me... pc is our destruction.


 

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone- except God"...Billy Graham
candlegal
by Judy on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:50 AM

I think it is going to be different in this case.  I think there are going to be a lot of parents and kids that don't agree with this.

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 Yeah, but unfortunately so many ppl sit back and say..well we have to be fair..that's not being fair, thats being afraid to stand up for what's right or rather, what's being done is wrong! It amazes me how many ppl are afraid to say NO this is wrong (on so many subjects).

Quoting candlegal:

Yes it is seriously messed up.   I can't see this lasting too long.   Seriously, the parents have got to be outraged.

Quoting IhaveHisjoy:

 IMO..TOTAL bs! Seriously this really disgusts me... pc is our destruction.


 


Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:56 AM
6 moms liked this

I think what really bothers me is that the schools can't tell you which gender your child is at school. Really? The parents don't have a right to know if their son claims to be a girl and routinely is using the girl's restroom?

Seems to me that THIS is something parents really really REALLY should know about.


TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:58 AM
19 moms liked this

 I don't agree with not discussing these issues with the parents. I also do not agree with punishing a girl that complains there is a boy in the stall next to her peeing.

 I also don't agree with allowing the opposite sex play a sport for the opposite sex team. There are reasons for same sex teams and a lot has to do with performance. Just because you feel like a girl doesn't mean you can't run faster on a track field if you are a boy.

 I think sometimes these days people go so far past reasonable accommodations just so they can be PC.

 It shouldn't be that damn hard to designate a bathroom that is unisex. And as far as sports go. You play for the team your biological parts match.

TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Feb. 22, 2013 at 7:59 AM
2 moms liked this

  You and me both!

Quoting Woodbabe:

I think what really bothers me is that the schools can't tell you which gender your child is at school. Really? The parents don't have a right to know if their son claims to be a girl and routinely is using the girl's restroom?

Seems to me that THIS is something parents really really REALLY should know about.

 

 

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