This School District Is Defying North Carolina's Transphobic HB2 Law in the Best Way Possible
One school district is reopening in August with measures designed to support students of all genders and sexual orientations while giving the middle finger to HB2.
North Carolina is currently a scary place to be LGBTQ. The state's transphobic HB2 bill — which prevents people from using bathrooms that do not match the sex they were assigned at birth, among other things — has put a spotlight on how tough the state is on people who aren't straight and cisgender. One North Carolina school district is taking important strides to change that.
When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools re-open in August, all transgender students will be called by their preferred names and pronouns. Their gender identity will be affirmed in restrooms, locker rooms, yearbooks, and graduation ceremonies, according to new guidelines released in a press conference on Monday, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Class rosters will be updated with students' preferred names and all students will be able to access screened-off changing areas in locker rooms or single-stall bathrooms on request. Gender-specific activities that have no educational purpose (like separating girls and boys into two lines to go out for recess) will be phased out.
Official transcripts will still carry the names and genders on students' birth certificates.
"This is about courage, understanding and compassion," CMS Superintendent Ann Clark told the Observer. "These are our children. These are the community's children."
According to the Charlotte Observer, experts estimate that just 0.3 percent of the population is transgender, but in a district of CMS's size (146,000 students), that amounts to more than 400 affected students.
A teacher training held on Monday helped educate faculty around issues uniquely faced by LGBTQ students.
"Until you really take some time to understand what it is to be transgender, you're just going to miss some things," Myers Park High School Principal Mark Bosco told the Charlotte Observer.
Governor Pat McCrory responded to CMS's news by slamming the district for "purposely breaking state law," the Charlotte Observer reports (they're not). This School District Is Defying North Carolina's Transphobic HB2 Law in the Best Way Possible:This School District Is Defying North Carolina's Transphobic HB2 Law in the Best Way Possible - http://www.seventeen.com/life/school/news/a41387/schools-are-defying-north-carolinas-transphobic-hb2-law-in-the-best-way-possible/