School Board Almost Does the Right Thing

The East Aurora School Board, last week, approved a measure that would allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender, not necessarily their physical sex. This was done unanimously. As a result, the Illinois Family Institute, an SPLC hate group, freaked the fuck out and one of the board members made it clear that this was an accident.

Turns out that the provision was part of a larger package of rules they approved and it just sort of slipped by them. So, after the mistake they made, they voted unanimously to rescind that portion of what they had allowed.

Friendly Atheist published a report from somebody who was at the meeting and tried to transcribe, as best he could, the remarks from the school board president. The speech was about what you would expect from somebody who is doing the wrong thing and wants to find a way to make it look like she actually gives a shit. There was a lot of saying that there are two sides to things (neglecting that one side is irrational and bigoted), talking about how they did unrelated good things (nothing personal, but a laptop to bring home for school work will not help a trans* student being beaten up), and just saying how sorry she was.

It's actually a choice between being yelled at and being beaten up for some trans* people just to use the bathroom

Yea, it’s a lot like that.

The fact of the matter is, the school board had a chance to do the right thing and accidentally did. Then they caved to the likes of the disgusting Laurie Higgins. They failed their students in an effort to please the imaginary friends of some parents and a lot of people too old to have children in school, but not so old that they can’t ruin the lives of other people’s kids in the name of their faith. They unanimously voted against their trans* students and I don’t much care how sorry Ms. Johnson is. Her sorrow will not change the life of a trans* student. Her vote may have, but she abandoned the chance when it came up.


One thought on “School Board Almost Does the Right Thing

  1. Gah…

    I understand that a lot of the issues surrounding trans* folk are complex, and while I wish people wouldn’t be reactionary and dumb about it, I can understand why they sometimes are. Hell, wasn’t that long ago I was naive and uneducated too, and I thought and said some pretty dumb things. Still do occasionally – it’s all a learning process for everyone, I can respect that.

    That said, the bathroom issue is one I do not understand and find it hard to address without spluttering.

    I mean, where to even start? With the fact that, as a cis-woman, I actually have used men’s rooms before – sometimes with actual men (gasp!) in them – and other than mild teasing, no one’s given me grief for it? Thus implying that ladyparts in the men’s room are fine, so long as those ladyparts aren’t attached to someone who looks like a dude?

    With the fact that if you are even aware that someone in the bathroom with you is trans*, YOU ARE DOING BATHROOMS WRONG OMG WHY WHY WHY ARE YOU CHECKING OUT SOMEONE ELSE’S GENITALS IN THE BATHROOM?

    With the fact that I’m sorry, when I head to the bathroom, I am Not Fooling Around – I need to get my pee on and I need to do it now, and the last thing I need is a philosophical/ethical debate over which door to go through. Seriously, the need to use the bathroom is both incredibly basic and incredibly urgent, and choosing that moment to make someone – anyone – worry about where they’re “allowed” to be is sheer cruelty, and it would serve that school right if their trans* students started finding their own creative solutions – on the principal’s desk, for instance.

    And… I’ve heard some women describe it as a boundaries issue. The ladies’ room, they argue, is a safe space – somewhere that women can just be women without worrying about menfolk being around.

    And I get safe spaces, I do. I don’t think transwomen should be excluded from women’s safe spaces (cuz, y’know, they might also like to feel safe), but I get that for some women, especially those who have been raped or abused, a male body, regardless of the mind or soul within it, can feel threatening. It’s a difficult situation with no easy answer, and any solution is guaranteed to hurt someone.

    But for the love of pete… do you have to make your safe space the goddamn pisser?? THAT’S where you feel all cozy and comfy and safe?!?!

    No. Sorry. I get your need to feel safe, but my tiny bladder biases me towards the person who needs to pee. Find another safe space, one that doesn’t interfere with basic biological needs. We can continue the fascinating discussion of who should be allowed in those spaces AFTER said needs have been met, ‘kay?

    Kaoru-kun, I’m with you. I don’t really give a shit how sorry this woman is. She just made day-to-day life, just the business of getting through the school day, that much more difficult for some of the students she is responsible for. My sympathy is with them, and at this point the only thing I can hope for is that they find some friends (of either gender) who are willing to “vet” a bathroom for them and let the poor kids use the john in peace. Otherwise they’re pretty much up a creek (see: your visual, above), and the cowardly school board can thank themselves for that.

    …also, no joke, seriously quit checking out other people’s junk in the bathroom. Creeper. If you weren’t looking, there wouldn’t be a problem.

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