Thursday, October 16, 2008

transphobia strikes again!

And transphobia strikes again! Here's excerpts of news article from Vacaville, California.

A teacher’s gender reassignment surgery has caught the attention of some parents who want to know why the school district didn’t notify them ahead of time about the change.

A music teacher at Foxboro Elementary School, who was formerly a woman, returned to school as a man at the beginning of the school year.

Some parents told Travis Unified School District that they feel like their rights to know were violated.

“All the information came straight from our kids and didn’t come from the school board or the teachers … this has all been second-hand information,” parent Melissa Oiland said...

"I understand what parents are saying, but we have a right as an employer, we have a legal obligation as an employer to protect our employees,” Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak said.

Gavlak said the district consulted with lawyers and determined that legally, it could not disclose any information about the teacher’s gender change.”We will not be discussing personal matters with either the students, or the parents or the community at large … because we cannot,” Gavlak said...

Parent Angela Weinzinger, who has three children at the school, said she has since transferred her children out of the class.

“I wasn’t given the opportunity to make a choice on what I wanted to do with the situation,” Weinzinger said.So far, 23 students from 15 different families have transferred their children out of the music class and into a physical education class.

read the full article here

This makes me upset on many levels. One, that parents feel their rights were violated because the school refused to violate the rights of the teacher and expose his medical and surgical history. If a teacher had had any other kind of surgery, would parents be reacting this way? Two, the assumption that this is a big enough deal that the school should've had to inform parents, that this man should have to reveal this information to anyone he interacts with. Three, that this teacher is being treated as if students in his class are going to catch "the trans" from him, like he's a sexual predator, as if their children are in danger simply being around him.

There are huge heaping servings of gender entitlement at work here. Yes, most parents probably aren't ready to have this conversation with their kids. I recognize that. But is the appropriate reaction really this?

1 comment:

Mugsie said...

Wow. Just... wow. I can't/can absolutely believe that that many parents pulled!
Gah.