After Policy 469’s rejection, schools must improve curriculum
Last year the district approved an anti-discrimination policy that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity. This policy, policy 441, directly opposes Assembly Bill 469, which would prohibit transgender students to use the restroom or changing room facility that corresponds to the gender they identify with. The school board continues to oppose Assembly Bill 469.
The Ripples editorial staff supports the school board’s resolution that opposes Assembly Bill 469.
Going to the bathroom is a part of everyone’s daily life. It is something that is so simple and routine many of us do not think about it very much. But for transgender students, the prospect of going to the bathroom can become a stressful and harmful experience.
Shorewood makes this task easier for transgender students by allowing them to go to the bathroom that corresponds to the their gender identity. With this policy, the district acknowledges transgender students’ gender identity.
With Policy 441 and the opposition to AB 469, the district shows support to the transgender community.
The district must continue to show support to transgender students in order for them to feel safe and included. We must remind each other of the issues that many transgender people face daily. They are a part of our community and their voices must be listened to.
We can show support for transgender students through making an effort toward bettering education and tolerance.
We must educate ourselves about transgender and gender non-conforming people by listening to them and their experiences.
We must realize that many people do not fully understand the transgender community and issues they face, and while we are learning, we will inevitably all make mistakes. It is important to listen when one is called out for saying something that may be false, ignorant or offensive, and learn from these mistakes. We must collectively make an effort to be accepting by learning and growing through our mistakes.
Education about gender and sexuality should not have to only happen on an independent level, it should be addressed in the curriculum to make a more well rounded and inclusive.
Gender non-conforming and transgender identities are not addressed in sex education curriculum. We should not make students feel isolated by not addressing them. A curriculum that includes conversations about gender and sexuality will provide a more safe and supportive learning environment to transgender students, as well as help educate the community.
Currently, there is very little to nothing mentioned in the current curriculum, but incorporating more about the transgender community will help transgender and their peers become more aware and educated.
To ignore transgender issues entirely is not only harmful to transgender students, but also to those around them, who remain unaware.
Since transgender and other LGBT students are mostly overlooked in the sexual health curriculum, it is up to them to do their own personal research. For students to do their own research, especially on the Internet, their endeavors can easily lead to incorrect information.
It is necessary that transgender and gender non-conforming people are addressed during sexual health units because it is important that all students learn about their sexual health. People who test HIV-positive are disproportionately transgender. According to the Center for Disease Control, the highest percentage of newly identified HIV-positive test results was among transgender people (2.1%.) We must have a curriculum that addresses transgender people because their health needs to be valued just as much as everyone else’s.
Not only will more inclusive education improve the learning environment of transgender student – it will improve the learning environment for all students.
Better educating students about gender and sexuality will help everyone become more tolerant. When people are more educated it will reduce the spreading of misinformation and ignorance, also resulting in a slimmed amount of bullied LGBT students. Educating students about gender and sexuality would increase a better understanding of what it actually means to be part of the LGBT community, which could reduce the bullying that LGBT students face.
Every day, members of the LGBT community interact with their peers, yet many of their peers still remain ignorant. In order to prevent this, it is important that they are educated about gender and sexuality to make them more informed, tolerant people.
With the resolution that opposes AB 469, the community should now focus on the support we could be giving transgender students through education.