As a child, around 8 years old, I struggled for approximately 5 years with strong desires to be a boy. This policy that is being proposed for our schools is of great concern. Growing up, I didn’t fall into the stereotype girl category. This caused dissatisfaction with who my body indicated I was. However, I also did not grow up in a culture that encouraged exploration into the possibility that I might be a boy trapped in a girl’s body or that I should possibly transition into a boy. As I grew older, I was encouraged to accept the body I was given. Eventually, I actually became thankful for my body and glad that I am a female. (I still prefer power tools to jewelry, and cutting the grass to cooking)
I see the destructive nature of this policy in that it does not really help children learn how to accept the wonderful bodies they have been given— uniting their minds and bodies as one. Instead, it encourages the exploration and questioning of their sex being different than their bodies. This can cause a child much confusion, frustration, depression and suicide. This policy did not address the long term effects of children pursuing transitioning. A very helpful website with discussion and resources from people who have struggled with this is livingout.org.
This policy is demanding that a certain type of speech be used by teachers, staff and students. This is not free speech, it is censured speech. If a certain speech is not used, according to this policy, a person can be accused of discrimination and harassment. All students, teachers and staff should treat each other with respect because each person is of great value. There must be protection of freedom of speech, freedom of not violating ones’ conscience or belief, and protection against discrimination and harassment for ALL and not just a certain group. This is where tolerance comes in for all students, teachers and staff. This does not mean everyone has to agree on issues, but part of learning is listening to different views respectfully.
Schools should provide individual bathrooms that are available to all students. Opening up the restrooms and locker rooms to anyone who claims to belong to that sex but is biologically different is a violation of privacy and safety of those of that sex.
Since this policy does not provide protection for all students, teachers and staff, it should not be approved.