Letter to the Editor RTSA

Our local public school should adopt policies and follow practices that ensure a safe and supportive educational setting for all our students—and that includes being free from prohibited sex discrimination.

However, when it comes to how our Hudson School District (HSD) responds to our students who go by gender-nonconforming names, the recently approved HSD policy on “Support for Gender Diverse Students” raises issues of prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX.

Wisconsin attorneys writing for the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA) on the topic of “Issues Surrounding Student Preferred Names” caution that under Title IX it may be prohibited sex discrimination for a public school district to treat students’ informal requests to be addressed by names other than their given legal names differently depending on whether the district perceives their preferred name requests to be gender-conforming or gender-nonconforming.

U.S. Department. of Education guidance on enforcement of Title IX states that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is sex discrimination, and treating students differently on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity may violate Title IX. 

The U.S. Dept. of Education also provides helpful “Resources for LGBTQI+ Students,” including how to file complaints with the Office for Civil Rights.

Here is HSD’s Title IX problem: If HSD routinely honors student preferences to be called by names other than their given legal names when HSD considers their alternative name requests gender-conforming – Cynthia asks to be called Cindy, Andrew asks to be called Drew – but when students ask to be called by names that HSD considers gender-nonconforming – Brenda asks to be called Albert, John asks to be called Jane – then HSD treats our students very differently – denies their name requests, refers them to counseling, and requires approval by their parents – this marked difference in how HSD treats our students appears on its face to be prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX.

Our HSD should adopt policies and follow practices that do not perpetuate prohibited sex discrimination; unfortunately, it has yet failed to do so.

Celeste Koeberl

Town of Hudson

(1) comment

Amy Breault

This is not at all what their policy states. The writer wants you to believe a student asking to be called “Kate” which is short for “Kathryn” or “Joe” which is short for “Joseph” is the concern, I assure you it is NOT. The policy specifically addresses that it is a parents right to know if their (MINOR) child requests to be identified as a different gender then they were born as — the majority agree with the schools decision as it is against the law to keep “secrets”, in this case a child’s gender preference, from their parents or legal guardian. This simply isn’t debatable, this is a form of gaslighting and exaggerating what the actual facts are. It’s unfortunate that we continue to allow this type of discussion to happen. Children are suffering, their right to an unbiased education is being crushed by a political agenda in the name of social justice and there seems to be little if any regard for the number of children these attacks have negatively effected. I hope folks start digging a little deeper in their hearts and start standing up against it, for the sake of the next generation. Enough is enough.

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