Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-09-17
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

THEATER NEWS THEATER NEWS
FWD event to feature Tony winner Mueller Eight veteran actors, directors, writers, ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  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 del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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 del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

MTV, LOGO TV to premiere "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" 2014-09-18
UIC receives national award for diversity 2014-09-18
Life: Twelve 2014-09-17
Openly gay Roosevelt Univ. president to retire 2014-09-17
Chicago 2014 Homeless Youth Summit generates projects 2014-09-17
Fed Appeals Court upholds NJ law banning conversion therapy 2014-09-11
Rep. Harris honored by Almost Home Kids group 2014-09-11
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Youth counselor talks Night of Hope, suicide prevention 2014-09-02
Study: 19% of L.A. County foster youth identify as LGBTQ 2014-08-27
GLSEN launches 25 Days for Safer Schools 2014-08-26
Campus Pride's LGBT-friendliest schools 2014-08-20
Report has what youth of color think about LGBT agenda 2014-08-20
Possibilities 2014-08-20
Honors roll in for UIC researcher 2014-08-20
Campus Pride lists 50 LGBT-friendly colleges, universities 2014-08-15
Investigation exposes housing discrimination in suburbs 2014-08-14
'Homestretch' youth homeless doc at Siskel 2014-08-13
Wheaton among LGBT-unfriendliest schools 2014-08-13
NC court says stepparents can maintain contact with children 2014-08-06
Eychaner Foundation launches '1,000 Kids for Iowa' 2014-08-05
Black Youth Project Report: How youth view LGBT agenda 2014-08-05
The Barcus Bunch: Single gay dad on unconditional parenting 2014-08-05
MOMBIAN How the makers of D&D won my family's heart 2014-07-29
GLSEN calls for further guidance on gender identity protections 2014-07-27
LGB parents and their kids doing despite heterosexism 2014-07-23
LGBT youth more likely than heterosexual youth to try suicide 2014-07-22
Youth homeless summit releases task force survey 2014-07-21
Alliance names Anthony Papini new executive director 2014-07-16
Report outlines workplace barriers for LGBT youth 2014-07-16
Georgia man sues 2014-07-16
Vernita Gray LGBTQ youth fund holds inaugural fundraiser 2014-07-16
Film about adoption premieres at Center 2014-07-16
Report looks at youth of color views on LGBT agenda 2014-07-16
Eychaner Foundation announces "1,000 Kids for Iowa" 2014-07-15
ISU to make 'all-gender' restrooms available on campus 2014-07-11
Public invited to view youth-led art installation 2014-07-08
Buffalo Grove student wins national award 2014-07-08
Wade to step down as TransLife director 2014-07-08





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

Trans* woman claims self-defense in case
 
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck
 
Veterans Health Administration opens doors to LGBT vets
 
Mother of Eisha Love: Heartbreak and courage
 
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame selects next inductees
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.