Perspective on transgender policy at Naselle-Grays River School District:

Growing up as a straight, white guy, active in sports and social events, I sometimes still found it hard at school trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in. I think that’s part of being a teenager.

Given my background, I recognize that I really don’t understand what transgender students deal with in our school in Naselle, something many of us should bear in mind when thinking about transgender issues. What I do understand, is that it can’t be easy for them. I read in last week’s Observer that our school board is debating whether to adopt the state policy on transgender students. They are debating whether to affirm that our school recognizes the value and rights of all students at the school, that bullying and discrimination is wrong and not going to be tolerated, and that students have the right to choose what their orientation is and it’s not a decision that can be made for them.

I recognize not everyone sees it this way, but I’d like to suggest to the school board that the policy doesn’t restrict anyone’s rights, it protects those of transgender students. In our society, everyone is supposed to be free to believe what they want, but not to impose their beliefs on others. The transgender policy reaffirms this.

I’d also ask that the board consider how our students might be viewing this, both transgender and straight, that these issues are up for debate? I request that the board do everything they can to make it easier on transgender kids, adopting the policy and strongly affirming our school's commitment to it is a start.



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