Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-07-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Aurora school district under fire for policy supporting trans
Expanded with the addition of a news release on Oct. 19, 2012
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-10-18

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


An Aurora school district is taking heat for a new policy intended to make transgender and gender-variant students safer.

Aurora East High School District 131 is reconsidering transgender protections approved unanimously Oct. 15 after community members complained, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

District spokesperson Clayton Muhammad said the board will consider rescinding the new policy on Oct. 19 at a special board meeting. In the meantime, the district is commenting in the form of a press release listing the meeting details, he said.

The policy in question mandates that transgender students be referred to with their preferred name and pronouns, be granted restroom access that corresponds with their gender identity and be allowed equal participation in gendered activities like intramural programs. It further states that transgender and gender non-conforming students have a right to privacy when it comes to their gender identification.

Shannon Sullivan, executive director of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, which advocates for LGBTQ youth, said the three-page Aurora policy is the model policy nationally for dealing with gender-variant students. Despite existing information on lesbian and gay students, she said, little information exists on the realities facing gender-variant youth.

"The stakes are so much higher when you start talking about transgender and gender non-conforming students," said Sullivan.

Some of the backlash to the policy appears to be stirred by opposition from the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a Carol Stream-based anti-gay organization.

IFI posted a message condemning the policy on its website and calling on the school board to undo the decision.

"The school board is now imposing non-objective, 'progressive' moral, philosophical, and political beliefs—not facts—about gender confusion on the entire school," IFI wrote on its website. "This feckless school board has made a decision to accommodate, not the needs of gender-confused teens, but their disordered desires and the desires of gender/sexuality anarchists who exploit public education for their perverse ends."

IFI has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Sullivan said that the Alliance is "supporting local community members in responding to show their support for these crucial and vital policies."

The board meeting is scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m. at East Aurora School Service Center, 417 Fifth St. in Aurora.

This is an ongoing story. Check back for details.

FROM A NEWS RELEASE:

Southern Poverty Law Center urges East Aurora school board to uphold transgender rights policy; not to bow to pressure from anti-gay hate group

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) urged the East Aurora School Board today not to bow to pressure from an anti-gay hate group by rescinding a policy protecting the rights of transgender students and employees.

The SPLC described in a letter to the board the long history of anti-gay bigotry spewed by the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), which is pressuring the board to eliminate the policy. The Carol Stream-based group has compared homosexuality to Nazism. The IFI has been designated as an anti-gay hate group by the SPLC for its demonization of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The board is set to reconsider its policy at an emergency meeting today.

"The School Board should not allow the IFI's vitriol to impact its legal and moral duty to ensure that all students have a learning environment free from harassment and abuse," Alesdair Ittelson, an SPLC attorney, wrote in the letter. "The spread of hate must end at the schoolhouse doors."

The letter notes that rescinding this policy, which outlines various rights of transgender students and employees, would display anti-LGBT animus and could expose the school board to legal liability. It also would provide "strong evidence in any future lawsuit on behalf of students who experience harassment or discrimination within the School District."

It notes that the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education have found that discrimination based on gender nonconformity is a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX of the Education Code.

The SPLC recently settled a Title IX lawsuit on behalf of gender nonconforming students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota. The students represented by the SPLC suffered merciless bullying due to their gender expression, largely because the school district did not have adequate policies to prevent this harassment.

The settlement agreement ultimately required the Anoka-Hennepin district to adopt a wide-ranging plan to protect LGBT students from bullying and harassment. The district was also required to pay $270,000 in damages to six students who brought lawsuits. The East Aurora policy will help protect students, avoid costly litigation and provide a safe learning environment for all students.

"Again, we commend you on instituting an inclusive policy and hope you will make the correct decision in this matter — keeping in place a policy to ensure that all people, including those who are transgender or gender variant, may learn, work, and participate in creating a better future for the youth of East Aurora," Ittelson wrote.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama with offices in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. For more information, see www.splcenter.org .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Restorative Justice Community Court to launch next month 2017-07-26 - The first Restorative Justice Community Court ( RJCC ) in the state of Illinois will launch at UCAN's North Lawndale campus in August, ...


Gay News

Report: LGBTQ youth disproportionately jailed, mistreated 2017-07-26 - LGBTQ youth are astoundingly overrepresented in the justice system. While only 7 to 9 percent of all youth nationwide identify as LGB, ...


Gay News

SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT riot grrrl rewind 2017-07-26 - The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble is ready to rock with Brave Like Them. The world-premiere play with punk music explores the pluses ...


Gay News

Windy City Times Job Fair Sept. 22 at Center on Halsted 2017-07-26 - More than 70 major corporations, small businesses, government agencies and nonprofits are expected for the third annual in the Windy City Times WERQ! ...


Gay News

Leadership program for LGBTQ youth, HIV/AIDS-affected youth begins in Vietnam 2017-07-25 - Hanoi, 19 July 2017 — Amazin LeThi Foundation today, announced the launch of the Leadership Sports and Education Program, co-implemented by the Community-based ...


Gay News

Night Ministry opens bus to community 2017-07-19 - The Night Ministry brought the Health Outreach Bus to the Daley Plaza to help communicate its mission of providing housing, medical exams and ...


Gay News

Lawsuit filed in support of suspended CPS teacher Chambers 2017-07-19 - In the two months since suspended Chicago Public School ( CPS ) special-education teacher Sarah Chambers' supporters held a Twitter storm with the ...


Gay News

GLSEN responds as Sec. of Education stonewalls on policy on LGBTQ students 2017-07-19 - ( New York, NY ) - July 18, 2017 - In a July 11 letter to Senator Patty Murray ( D-WA ), Sec. ...


Gay News

The Crib to reinstate overnight-shelter services on July 26 2017-07-18 - Officials from The Night Ministry announced, on July 17, that The Crib, the organization's emergency shelter for persons ages 18-24 in Lake View, ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN School: Still not so safe 2017-07-12 - In the year of 2017 LGBT culture has become more accepted, but tensions are still high in places such as public schools. ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.