The Mount Horeb School Board in Wisconsin finally put an end to the bickering over the policy on trans students. The controversy erupted when a school planned to have a reading of “I Am Jazz” to raise awareness in light of a young trans child at the school. Unfortunately the reading was canceled after opposition from the religious right. This then saw the debate continue with support swelling in favor of reading the book. A large group turned out when a reading of I Am Jazz was held at a local library. Anticipation was high at Monday night’s school board meeting when a vote on transgender policy was schdeuled. Here are a couple excerpts from the story about that meeting by Doug Erickson writing for The Wisconsin State Journal…
In a matter of minutes and with little comment, Mount Horeb School Board members late Monday unanimously approved new measures to accommodate transgender students, quickly dispensing with a controversial issue that has consumed the community for more than two weeks.
The new measures grant transgender students access to the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their new gender identities. Additionally, the students will be permitted to participate in physical education classes and intramural sports “in a manner consistent with” their gender identities.
The board also added “transgender status” to the district’s nondiscrimination policy as a protected category.
The only board member who spoke prior to passing the new policy was Peter Strube, who said diversity is essential to life and should be cherished and honored. He ended on a forceful note that brought cheers from many in the crowd.
“Let the word go forth here and now that this board will stand united and we will not be intimidated and we will teach tolerance and will be accepting to everyone,” he said.
The board then voted 7-0 to approve the new measures.
Shortly thereafter, the mother of the 6-year-old girl at the center of the controversy told the board she had not been planning to speak but felt compelled to thank them. She did not offer her full name to the audience. The State Journal is not naming her because of her request for privacy.
“This has been the most difficult thing my family has ever had to deal with,” she said. “I am so glad we are part of this school district going through something like this. … This isn’t just about our child, this is about all the other children, too.”