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High School Students Revolt Against Transgender Bathroom Policy

Source: Reddit

Students of a New York high school coordinated a walkout in protest of a transgender bathroom policy that was enforced at their school. Those students reportedly believed that a trend of hatred was developing within the Wappingers Central School District and responded accordingly.

Nonpartisan Group Organizers: ‘We Must Fight Their Oppressors’

One of the organizers of the nonpartisan organization Defense of Democracy opened up about the event in an interview with a local news station. They said that “it is not enough to just stand up with trans students.”

Source: Wikimedia/Daniel Case

The organizer added that “we must fight their oppressors.” The group’s organizers indicated that transgender students have been victimized within the school district for several years. The group reportedly led the organization of the counter-protest.

Transgender Students Have Asked Administration For Support In Recent Years

According to the report, transgender students have repeatedly asked administrators for support. However, the response was apparently not viewed as satisfactory or sufficient.

Source: Pixabay/Mircea Iancu

A petition was reportedly passed around that specifically targeted transgender students. The protesters gathered after their eighth period during a school day in late March.

School District Superintendent Addressed Walkout, Protest In Official Statement

Dr. Dwight Bonk, the superintendent of the school district, stated that the district was informed of “multiple social media posts regarding the issue of access to restrooms by transgender students at John Jay High School over the course of the past weekend.” He acknowledged that school districts “are required to provide access to transgender students to the restroom of the sex with which they identify, which may not be the student’s sex assigned at birth.”

Source: Facebook/Brewster Rotary

Bonk also referenced the District’s awareness of its “obligations to the transgender population” and remained fully committed to “protecting these students and ensuring that they can safely access these rights.”

Superintendent Referenced Title IX, New York State’s Dignity For All Students Act

Superintendent Bonk referenced state and federal laws within his statement as well as a way to support his comments and strong opinions. He specifically referenced Title IX and the state’s “Dignity for All Students Act.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (also referred to as “The Dignity Act”) was signed into law in September 2010. It went into effect on July 1, 2012 with amendments enforced the following year.

‘The Dignity Act’ Seeks To Provide Students With A ‘Safe And Supportive Environment’

According to the state’s website, “The Dignity Act” was designed to provide public elementary and secondary school students “with a safe and supportive environment.” This environment should be “free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property.”

Source: Pixabay/Kris

Other locations covered the act include school buses and school functions. Another provision through the Dignity Act is the responsibility of the school district to collect and report data “regarding material incidents” of bullying, harassment, and discrimination.

Transgender Student: ‘We Are Human, Just Like Everyone Else’

One transgender student, Cory Pittore, that identifies as male stated that “we are human just like everyone else.” The student acknowledged that he has been “struggling with this for so long.”

Source: Pixabay/Carola68

According to the student, he felt like “we shouldn’t be silenced because we’re human ourselves.” The student, who is a senior at the high school, participated in the counter-protest.

Students Propose Giving ‘Them Their Own Spaces’ For Mutual Comfort

Shauna Neilan, a senior from John Jay High School, stated that “a bunch of people” from the school “feel uncomfortable” with the current arrangement. She indicated that there is a proposed arrangement that would make everyone comfortable.

Source: Pixabay/kerplode

Shauna stated that “we want to change that and give them their own spaces.” According to Shauna, that approach would make “us more comfortable and them more comfortable.”

Neilan Reportedly Initiated Petition, Referenced Situations That Transpired

Neilan was reportedly responsible for starting the petition. The petition claimed that there were situations involving transgender students that transpired within the restrooms.

Source: Pixabay/Tanvi Malik

Superintendent Dwight Bonk claimed that he was unaware of any incidents that occurred aside from the actual protest and social media posts.

Superintendent Confirmed Protest Was ‘Peaceful And Concluded Without Incident’

Superintendent Bonk indicated in his statement that the district “took appropriate measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the student body.” He also referenced that the “community at large” benefited as well.

Source: Pixabay/Mykola Volkov

Bonk confirmed that a “protest did occur on campus” and that “approximately 20 students” were involved. Bonk also indicated that the protest “was peaceful and concluded without incident.”

Superintendent Witnessed Protest, Saw Exercise Of First Amendment Rights

Bonk confirmed in his statement that he was “personally present” at the school as the protest occurred. He acknowledged that the “students had the opportunity to exercise their free speech rights.” 

Source: Pixabay/Dean Moriarty

Bonk confirmed that they expressed their positions in a way that was “respectful, safe, and in accordance with the requirements of the School District and governmental authorities.” He concluded his statement by expressing that the school district would “continue to support all” of their students’ rights in addition to complying with New York State and Federal regulations.

Revised Title IX Regulations Expanded Protections For LGBTQ+ Students

The revision of Title IX regulations enforced by the US Department of Education focused on protections available for LGBTQ+ students. According to the new regulations, sexual discrimination includes any type of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

LGBTQ+ students that face discrimination can now receive a response from their school through Title IX regulations. Those who do not receive a response are now able to seek legal action through the federal government.

US Secretary Of Education Referenced The ‘Equal Opportunity’ Promised By Title IX

US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stated that “Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination.” He also referenced the history of Title IX protections that have been in place “for more than 50 years.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/US Department of Education

Cardona further expressed that “these final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX.” He added that they clarify “that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

Department Of Education Assistant Secretary Discusses Impact Of Title IX Update

Catherine Lhamon serves as the assistant secretary for civil rights within the Department of Education. She stated that the Title IX update ensures that the law will protect students that experience a “hostile environment” in school.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was initially designed to protect people from sex-based discrimination within educational activities or programs that receive federal financial assistance.

Representative Miller-Meeks Indicates New Regulations Creates Gray Area

Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) implied that there may be a gray area created by the updated regulation for certain schools. According to Miller-Meeks, “until they have a rule, the rule that they put forward will stand.”

Source: Wikimedia/House Creative Service

She added that there will be “confusion and misinterpretation.” However, others applauded the updated guidelines – such as Democratic Senator Patty Murray who described the update as “a huge step forward” for students and survivors alike.

New Changes Help President Joe Biden To Fulfill A Campaign Promise

The new changes and updates made to Title IX regulations reportedly allowed President Joe Biden to fulfill a campaign promise that he made years ago. He promised to end the rules that were enforced by the previous Education Secretary that served under the Trump administration.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

It was noted, though, that these regulations do not address the issue of transgender athletes. However, it did make it clear that they cannot be discriminated against within a school setting.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

Sally, a dynamic and viral writer, has taken the literary world by storm with her exceptional storytelling prowess. With an uncanny ability to tap into the collective consciousness of her readers, she crafts narratives that resonate deeply and linger long after the last word is read.

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