East Aurora School Board Rescinds Policy Supporting Transgender Students

I just wanted to post a quick update regarding the East Aurora Board of Education’s decision to support transgender students… and then considering dropping that support after complaints from Christian Right groups.

The East Aurora Board of Education

The school board met tonight to discuss this issue. There were several dozen people in attendance, many of whom supported the policy and spoke publicly about why they did.

However, the board members voted — unanimously — to rescind their support, anyway.

Transgendered students will not be treated with respect in their district.

A reader of this site was at the meeting and will be filing a post about the specifics of what happened tonight as soon as possible.

Until then, though, what a disappointing turn of events. What an embarrassment to the education system this school board is, to allow themselves to be pushed around by Christian bullies who don’t even understand the issue at hand.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • C Peterson

    This is a district that is now going to be represented in the history books 50 years from now the way those that made a point of discriminating against blacks are represented today. By name. As you say, how embarrassing… a stain that will last for decades.

  • A3Kr0n

    They went from unanimously in favor of it to unanimously against it?  I smell a rat.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Seems like it :(

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

        “Oh hey, a school board was unanimously in support of transgender students?! Faith in humanity resto- oh wait, no, faith in humanity gone again.”

        • http://benny-cemoli.myopenid.com/ Benny Cemoli

          I would argue that the school board did not approve the policy unanimously because there were three board members missing when the Monday vote was taken. (Hull, Turza, and Gonzalez were not present for the vote.)

          The four remaining board members approved the policy. I suspect if Hull had been there it wouldn’t have been reported as a unanimous vote.

      • http://benny-cemoli.myopenid.com/ Benny Cemoli

        Yeah, and the rat is Board President Annette Johnson.

        “People are going to say, ‘Didn’t you read your own policy?’ Well, no,” Johnson said. She added that she trusted that Aird and the district’s attorney were simply following protocol. Aird, “pulled the wool over our eyes,” and brought the policy forward without following the proper procedures, Johnson said. “We assumed all of the steps were being followed…

        Not only is she alleging that she is incompetent when it comes to supervising the school board she very conveniently throws another board member (Aird) as well as the school board’s attorney under the bus.

        I would assume Christie Aird’s career on the school board has ended at this point.

        Christie Aird, the district’s assistant superintendent of secondary
        education who formed the policy and brought it to the board, has been
        put on administrative leave.

         
        :-(

        SourcePlease read the whole article I have linked above. It is quite an interesting piece.

    • Phil

      Yes, and the evil rat is named Laurie Higgins.  What an evil old battleaxe. 

      • Ibis3

        old battleaxe

         I appreciate your animosity and I share it, but can you please drop the sexist slurs? Thanks.

        • Phil

          She does this but I’m the sexist?    OK.

          • amycas

             Ibis3 didn’t say you are sexist, she said that particular word is a sexist slur.

          • Ibis3

             My perspective is this: I don’t like it when a woman says or does something I agree with or when I say or do something and those who oppose that position use sexist language to silence or punish me. But if I condone it when a woman does or says something repulsive, that means I don’t really care about sexism and misogyny, I just care about being right and being sheltered from criticism.

        • Joe

          Only cause I haven’t heard that used before but how is battleaxe sexist? Properly curious about it

          • Sami Hawkins

            I think it’s a Britishism. I always see them using that term to describe Thatcher, so it probably doesn’t have a very nice meaning.

            • Joe

              Thanks for that info

          • Ibis3

             It’s a term only applied to women, usually older, who are “uppity”, or, as the OED phrases it “a formidably aggressive older woman.” As an insult, it punishes women who are not subdued and submissive, young, beautiful, fuckable.

            • Joe

              Ahh thank you for the insight

        • Ultima9085

          I find this offensive against battleaxes. They are a fine weapon and feared on the battlefield. Many a soldier has shat in his metal underwear when an enemy has come bearing down on him with such a weapon.
          Just because I usually use longswords does not mean I will stand by while people speak ill of the noble battleaxe.

  • Ggsillars

    Cowards.

    • Gregory Lynn

      Yes, this, a million times this.

      Let’s do what’s right. Oh, what, unpopular, never mind.

      Pathetic cowardly infantile dickweeds.

      Also, I am not fond of their decision.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Oh, fer fuck’s sake.

    • Guest

      Unless you’ve got the quality of Clinton, you may be accused of rape. Tom cat.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Wait. What? What the fuck are you on about?

      • RobMcCune

         Even for guest that’s incoherent nonsense.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Last month my 13 year old daughter painted all my fingernails a light pink. It was not easy to see all the time but in the right light it really stood out. I pretty much forgot about it and went about my normal everyday life but now and then someone, normally a male would give me a strange look and then I would remember that I have pretty nails. None of them ever said anything to me but I’m a grown male that is 6’1 / 200lbs Most of the time when a woman took notice they would say, nice nails.

    Now I wonder how these same people would react to a 10 year old boy if he did the same thing and went out in public or even to church with pretty nails. I’m willing to bet people would say something to him, behind his back within earshot or maybe even say something to his parents for allowing him to have pretty nails.

    To be honest I enjoyed having some color on my nails but keeping them from getting scratched or chipped is no easy task but if I choose to ever let my daughter paint them again I’m not going to give it a second thought and if someone wants to judge me for it, that is there problem, not mine.

  • MartinRC

    I wonder if Mittens, otherwise known as Flip Romney is on that school board.  

    • JohnnieCanuck

      He flips and flops more than a fresh caught trout still on the line.

      I’d pay to see his Geraldine impression, though. “The Devil made me do it.”

    • JohnnieCanuck

      He flips and flops more than a fresh caught trout still on the line.

      I’d pay to see his Geraldine impression, though. “The Devil made me do it.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1572606857 Laura Watson

    Thank you for the update. It’s so sad. :(

  • Kathy

    Please keep us updated on this.

  • Wencil13695

    I don’t think this policy would do anything but help overall equality between the sexes. I think religious extremism has no place in the U.S. and I will never understand their outdated point of view. I really believe hate makes these people feel good. How can any of them look at Islamic extremists and not see themselves as Christian extremists?

    • observer

      “How can any of them look at Islamic extremists and not see themselves as
      Christian extremists? ”

      Simple: the Christian extremists deem the Islamic extremists to be the “opposite” of each other. So that way, whenever the American Taliban does crap like this, the sheeple won’t think that they’re like the Islamic extremists (remember, they’re “opposites”), so it’s something deemed “American”, while unwittingly bringing us closer to something similar to the real Taliban.

      As long as this meme continues, it’ll get to the point where the sheeple, in a Christian theocracy, well deem themselves to be more “moral” then the Islamic theocracy, despite the two having relatively few differences.

  • MichaelD

    So instead of taking a stand one way or the other, first they pissed off the  anti trans voters then they decided that wasn’t enough so they flip flopped and pissed off the other voters. Smooth. I can only hope it bites them all hard in the ass come the next election.

  • Ibis3

    Today, CTV news reported about a girl who cut her long hair for a cancer charity during the summer and started to get bullied for “being a boy” as soon as she started school in September. This is what those despicable school board people are supporting:

    http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=788306&binId=1.815892

    (relevant piece starts at the 10 minute mark)

    This girl identifies as a girl and she uses the girls’ washroom. One could imagine how much worse it could be for either a trans boy or girl.

  • Randy

    Wow.  The entire board just proved itself to be both stupid and cowardly.  There can be no other explanation for flipping a unanimous vote in less than a week.  What are students supposed to learn from this example of leadership?

    I hope there can be a two pronged response: (1) planning to defeat the entire board at the next election, and (2) launching a court challenge to protect the rights of trans students within the District.

  • Sami Hawkins

    I don’t know which pisses me off more:

    A. The school board caving to bigots.

    or

    B. The fact that this blog regularly give trans* stories like this more coveragte than most sites calling themselves LBGT would ever bother with. They all found time to cover the story of the murderer getting a sex change, but when it comes to stories like this or that story you did way back about the MTF girl scout they always forget about that T at the end.

    Alright comparing the sizes of my rants B is a clear winner, at least the bigots are honest about not wanting us around.

  • EAHSTOMCAT91

    It all is very simple people. A Male has a penis, A woman has a vagina. You can pretend to be whatever you want to be, but the hard evidence is fact. Get over it

    If you commit a crime and go prison and you have a penis – you have no rights and guess what… you go to a MENS’ PRISON. If you have a vagina you go to a WOMENS’ PRISON.

    My teenage daughter should not have to worry about someone with a penis being in her locker room dropping HIS shorts.

    Does she have rights? Who is supporting her?  Not the 3.4% of the nations Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgenders that is for sure.

    For only being 3.4% I feel this nation has bent over backwards to accomodate. This transgender policy was OVER THE TOP RIDICULOUS!

    • Deven Kale

       “you have no rights.”

      And that right there is the difference between a student in school and a prisoner: students have rights that prisoners don’t. However, if you really think a trans girl is going to wander into a girls room and just drop her shorts, you’re out of your mind. I have no doubt that a trans student is going to be far more well-behaved in those bathrooms than regular students, because they recognize how easy it would be to get forced to use the other restroom if they act inappropriately.

      Please take your bigotry elsewhere, where people aren’t smart enough to see through your highly flawed arguments.


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