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Some parents with students at Old Town Elementary received a letter that said there is a second grade student in the school that is transgender.
Sep 8th, 2014 by

OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Some parents with students at Old Town Elementary received a letter that said there is a second grade student in the school that is transgender. The school district mailed the letter to parents at the start of the new school year. It went to parents who have children in the same learning community as the transgender student, which is made up of about 120 kids from different grades. The letter says the student “may be familiar to your children as a boy, but will now be recognized as a girl.” It goes on to say that the student has identified as a girl for quite some time and will now be using a new name and dressing in a more feminine manner. The student will also be using the girls’ bathroom, according to the letter. It also acknowledges that this is a new situation for many people, including staff members. NEWS CENTER has attached the entire letter to this story. The school was not legally obligated to send the letter, but the RSU34 Superintendent David Walker said it chose to. Legally, under the Maine Human Rights Act, the school is required to treat all students equally. Walker said the child’s family met with the school over the summer to develop a plan. The school drafted the letter, then the family and the superintendent reviewed and approved it. Old Town Elementary wanted parents to hear the information from the school first, and not from their children, according to Walker. There are several organizations in Maine that provide resources for people struggling with gender identity, advocate for transgender equality, and work to educate the community. Here are a few links to learn more:

http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/2014/09/04/school-sends-letter-to-parents-about-transgender-student/15098829/ The letter that the school wrote is here… http://archive.wcsh6.com/assetpool/documents/140904073029_Transgender%20Student.pdf

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Maine Supreme Court just handed down a ruling in the case of the trans-girl that was denied the use of the girl’s bathroom.
Jan 30th, 2014 by

NOTE – transgender students in CT have the same rights under PA 11-55 –

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/ACT/PA/2011PA-00055-R00HB-06599-PA.htm

See also – http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/equity/title_ix/guidelines_for_schools_on_gender_identity_and_expression2012oct4.pdf

 

Maine Supreme Court just handed down a ruling in the case of the trans-girl that was denied the use of the girl’s bathroom.
http://www.glad.org/current/item/breakthrough-ruling-in-favor-of-transgender-student

Breakthrough Ruling in Favor of Transgender Student

Transgender Students Must Have Full Access to School Facilities, Says Maine High Court

Today, Maine’s highest court ruled that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender people. The decision in GLAD’s lawsuit Doe v. Clenchy marks the first time a state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms that match who they are.

The ruling stated in part, “[The school] agreed with Susan’s family and counselors that, for this purpose (as for virtually all others), Susan is a girl.  Based upon its determination that Susan is a girl, and in keeping with the information provided to the school by Susan’s family, her therapists, and experts in the field of transgender children, the school determined that Susan should use the girls’ bathroom.”

“This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, who argued the case before the Maine Law Court on June 12. “Schools have a responsibility to create a learning environment that meets and balances the needs of all kids and allows every student to succeed. For transgender students this includes access to all school facilities, programs, and extracurricular activities in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.”

“A transgender girl is a girl and must be treated as such in all respects, including using the girls’ restroom. This ruling is consistent with what educators and human rights commissions – including the Maine Human Rights Commission — around the country have concluded,” said GLAD Senior Attorney Bennett Klein, who was co-counsel with Levi in the case.

The litigation arose after officials at an Orono elementary school denied Nicole Maines, a transgender girl who was then in fifth grade, use of the girls’ restroom. The school had previously allowed Nicole to use the girls’ room but reversed course after the misconduct of one male student who followed Nicole into that facility.

“We are very grateful and relieved that the Court said our daughter should not be singled out for different treatment at school simply because she is transgender,” said Wayne Maines, Nicole’s father. “As parents all we’ve ever wanted is for Nicole and her brother Jonas to get a good education and to be treated just like their classmates, and that didn’t happen for Nicole. What happened to my daughter was extremely painful for her and our whole family, but we can now close this very difficult chapter in our lives. We are very happy knowing that because of this ruling, no other transgender child in Maine will have to endure what Nicole experienced.”

GLAD and Jodi L. Nofsinger of Berman & Simmons, P.A. represented Susan in the lawsuit.

Learn more about the case and read previous case documents here. http://www.glad.org/work/cases/doe-v.-clenchy

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What happens when your son tells you he’s really a girl?
Jan 26th, 2014 by

Source: http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/01/13/what-happens-when-your-son-tells-you-hes-really-a-girl/

What happens when your son tells you he’s really a girl

Inside the families embracing the new world of gender variance

by Cathy Gulli on Monday, January 13, 2014 10:25am – MacLean’s Magazine

Since the summer of 2012, Olie Pullen has kept in her bedroom closet a Wonder Woman costume, which she loves, but has struggled to actually wear. The plan had been to don it on Halloween two years ago, but when that day came, Olie, now 11, chose to be a vampire instead. Dressing up in the red and blue costume would have exposed her at school and around her Montreal neighbourhood in a way that didn’t feel right yet: Olie was, after all, born a boy. Oliver.

When he was a toddler, at his own insistence and to the surprise of his parents, Oliver began playing with princess dresses and dolls. He wore skirts, first at home and then out, along with glittery shirts and skinny jeans, and eventually grew his blond hair long. Recently, Oliver started wearing a padded bra and taking hormone blockers to suppress male puberty. He had his name legally changed to Olie, and only responds to female pronouns. Oliver the boy is now Olie the girl. And for the first time ever, she’s comfortable. “The best part is that I feel I’m in the right body,” says Olie. “I feel like, well, I feel good.”   read more ………… 

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UNITED STATES REACHES AGREEMENT WITH ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA, SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RESOLVE SEX DISCRIMINATION ALLEGATIONS
Jul 25th, 2013 by

This is a very significant court case regarding the rights of transgender students. See attached official documents.

 

From: USDOJ-Office of Public Affairs (SMO)
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:07 PM
To: USDOJ-Office of Public Affairs (SMO)
Subject: UNITED STATES REACHES AGREEMENT WITH ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA, SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RESOLVE SEX DISCRIMINATION ALLEGATIONS

 

Note:  A copy of the agreement and closure letter are attached in pdf format.

______________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 CRT

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, 2013                                                                             (202) 514-2007

WWW.JUSTICE.GOV                                                                                    TTY (866) 544-5309

 

UNITED STATES REACHES AGREEMENT WITH ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA, SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RESOLVE SEX DISCRIMINATION ALLEGATIONS

WASHINGTON – The United States entered into a settlement agreement with the Arcadia Unified School District in Arcadia, Calif., to resolve an investigation into allegations of discrimination against a transgender student based on the student’s sex.  Under the agreement, approved by the district’s school board unanimously last night, the school district will take a number of steps to ensure that the student, whose gender identity is male and who has consistently and uniformly presented as a boy at school and in all other aspects of his life for several years, will be treated like other male students while attending school in the district.

 

The agreement, joined by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which participated in the investigation, resolves a complaint filed in October 2011.  The complaint alleged that the district had prohibited the student from accessing facilities consistent with his male gender identity, including restrooms and locker rooms at school, as well as sex-specific overnight accommodations at a school-sponsored trip, because he is transgender.  The United States investigated this complaint under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Both Title IX and Title IV prohibit discrimination against students based on sex.

Under the settlement agreement, the district will:

  • work with a consultant to support and assist the district in creating a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment for students who are transgender or do not conform to gender stereotypes;
  • amend its policies and procedures to reflect that gender-based discrimination, including discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, transgender status, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes, is a form of discrimination based on sex; and
  • train administrators and faculty on preventing gender-based discrimination and creating a nondiscriminatory school environment for transgender students.

 

Additionally, the district will take a number of steps to treat the student like all other male students in the education programs and activities offered by the district.  The district-wide provisions of the agreement will be in place until the end of the 2015-2016 school year.  The student-specific provisions of the agreement will be in place as long as the student is enrolled in the district.

 

“All students, including transgender students, have the right to attend school free from discrimination based on their sex,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “We commend the district for taking affirmative steps to ensure that this student and his peers can continue to learn and thrive in a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.”

“Our commitment to civil rights enforcement runs deep and nowhere is that commitment more meaningful than in our schools,” said André Birotte, Jr., United States Attorney for the Central District of California. “This agreement helps ensure continued advancement towards equal rights under the law for all students.”

In recent years, the Justice Department and the Department of Education resolved a number of cases involving gender-based harassment in public schools.  In 2012, the departments entered into a consent decree addressing harassment against students who do not conform to gender stereotypes in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Minn.  In 2011, the departments entered into an agreement with the Tehachapi Unified School District, Calif., to resolve a similar complaint of harassment against a gay student who did not conform to gender stereotypes.

Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 each prohibit harassment based on sex.  The enforcement of Title IV and Title IX are top priorities of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its website at www.justice.gov/crt.

13-838

 

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Transgender Student Rights (TSR) – from GLSEN
Jul 23rd, 2013 by

GLSEN is proud to announce that it is strengthening its longstanding support for transgender and gender nonconforming students with the addition of the student-created grassroots organization Transgender Student Rights (TSR) to it family of programs.

Founded in 2009, TSR is an online community that provides support and resources to transgender and gender nonconforming students. The TSR student leaders have produced resources and grown a large community of transgender and gender nonconforming youth, and those seeking to support them.

As a part of GLSEN, TSR will become a vehicle for resources, actions, events and support at GLSEN.org while continuing to provide a community of engagement on Facebook and Twitter, supported by transgender and gender nonconforming youth.

Visit GLSEN’s TSR page to learn more about TSR and download GLSEN resources designed to support and empower transgender and gender nonconforming students, such as Know Your Rights: A Guide for Trans and Gender Nonconforming Students, Where is the “T” in GSA: Making Your School Trans-Inclusive and our Model District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.

You can also sign up for news and updates about TSR and our work related to transgender and gender nonconforming youth.

 

Sincerely,

Kristi Leimgruber                                                           Anthony Brisson

Co-Chair, GLSEN Connecticut                                    Co-Chair, GLSEN Connecticut

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