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Aurora district ceases work on trans policy
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-12-18

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In the latest in a series of flip-flops for a district considering transgender protections, the East Aurora School has dissolved an ad hoc committee charged with drafting a transgender policy, effectively ending that effort.

The Dec. 17 decision marks a third reversal for the district, which implemented transgender protections, revoked them days later, installed a committee to re-write a policy and finally disbanded the committee Monday night.

LGBT youth organization the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance said in a statement that the board has displayed an inability serve youth and Aurora residents.

"The people of East Aurora deserve better than a school board that cannot facilitate difficult — but necessary — conversations, and we will stay steady in our efforts to work with school staff, parents, and community members to foster a safe and supportive district for all East Aurora youth," the organization said in a statement.

Shannon Sullivan, executive director of the Alliance said that committee members were not officially informed of the dissolution, but that some had expressed interest in continuing to meet on their own time.

Sullivan added that efforts to make transgender students safer in the district will continue.

"There are ways that you can work on a procedural level," she said.

The dissolution comes just weeks after more than 100 people flooded a Nov. 29 committee meeting to express disapproval of the proposed protections. The Illinois Family Institute (IFI), an Illinois-based anti-gay organization, had condemned the policy on its website, and some commented that the organization mobilized resistance to it.

Following the Nov. 29 meeting, during which some committee members expressed concerns for their safety, the committee was suspended. That move raised suspicion that the board would be dissolving the committee altogether.

District 131 spokesperson Clayton Muhammad did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Check back for updates.


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