Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mount Horeb

A Mount Horeb school board had a little problem on its hands:
The issue surfaced late last month when staff members at a district elementary school scheduled a reading of "I Am Jazz," a children's book about a transgender child. The staff members said they sought to support a 6-year-old student who had just transitioned from a boy to a girl, and to help the girl's classmates better understand what was happening.

This was met with opposition and threat of a lawsuit. Then the powers-that-be fought back.

I'm told almost all these dysphorias resolve without any problem by the mid teens. Those that don't--I gather the suicide rate is quite high, and that surgery/hormones don't improve the outlook. Statistically speaking--you can always find anecdotes to the contrary, and they'll get full "human interest" coverage. I have some strong suspicions about the character of the boy's mother which I won't darken the blog with. (No father mentioned in the news, for what that's worth.)

So there was a community reading of the book: "The centerpiece of the library program was the reading of “I Am Jazz” by its co-author Jessica Herthel, who flew in from California to support the family." The organizers were stunned, stunned! to find 600 people show up when they expected 15. Of course they paid for the plane ticket, and for 40 books to circulate to the kids, and probably did all the calling to bring people in... Did I mention that Mount Horeb is not far from Madison?

This had the desired effect on the school board. "The new measures grant transgender students access to the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their new gender identities." Not single user facilities...

You can make a case that the ADA requires accommodations, but it isn't obvious that the effect is neutral. It would seem likely to make the normal cases harder to resolve. Does anybody know of any work to distinguish the ordinary cases from the high risk ones?

1 comment:

The Mad Soprano said...

You can either have gender-neutral bathrooms or you can have reduced cases of sexual harassment, but you cannot have both. This Mount Horeb school is going to have to learn the hard way why what they did is a bad idea.