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Sep 29, 2012
New Hampshire is not known to be a state that is transgender friendly. Currently, the entire state lacks any form of gender identity non-discrimination protections, and to add insult to injury, the state senate took up a gender identity bill and NOBODY VOTED FOR IT, and compounding that injury is the fact that New Hampshire is one of few states that still require surgery for a driver’s license gender change.
But however, in the absence of such laws, a school district, after some backsliding, has taken the initiative in allowing a transgender girl to be herself in school.
The Nashua school district has agreed to let a transgender third grade student enrolled at a new elementary school to be officially identified as a female and use the girls’ bathrooms.
The child’s family says the student started identifying and dressing as a girl last year, but after she was separated from her classmates and not allowed to use the girls’ bathrooms, her mother removed her from school and she received tutoring for the rest of the year.
School officials say it is their policy to not discriminate against any students.
The district has earned praise for its efforts to accommodate this student.
But, as stated before, this didn’t come easy, for while the school district was initially accepting, there was some backsliding, due to the tyranny of the majority.
What would you do if your son told you he was your daughter?
That happened for this mother over the district’s winter break last year. When the child returned to second grade that January dressed as a girl, using a female name, she was initially accepted by her teacher and classmates and was allowed to use the same restrooms as the other girls in class, her mother said.
Her daughter was happier and better behaved than she ever had been as her son.
But when a classmate’s parent complained about the girl using female restrooms and staff continued addressing her as male, her daughter’s mood darkened and behavioral issues increased, her mother said.
The child was ultimately separated from her classmates, seated in a single desk in a room of shared tables and was no longer allowed to use the girls restroom, her mother said.
Eventually, her mother removed her from school, and she received outside tutorial services from the district for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year.
This is the type of stuff that impedes the progress of human rights. One parent decided to take it on themselves to prevent this little girl from being able to be herself, and while there are always bigots out there advocating for CHILD ABUSE in the form of forced detransition, the grown-ups should always be in charge and they should educate the family about this issue.
According to the superintendent of the Nashua School district, students do not need any extra accommodations due to their transgender status. I agree with this statement, for it is not "extra accommodations" to allow a transgender child to use the facilities and to present as their true gender identity, but about allowing all girls and boys and non-binary individuals to be themselves, and that is what it is all about.
While there is nothing in Nashua’s elementary school curriculum discussing LGBT issues, it often comes up in high school health classes on sexual harassment. I feel that this teachable moment can lead to even greater improvements.
Congratulations to this little girl, you have done something I wanted to do when I was her age, but never was able to do growing up in the 1990s in a backwater.
-Jordan Gwendolyn Davis