Trans teen ‘strangled, bullied, and abused’ at Scottish school

Trans Day of Visibility

A Scottish trans teen has spoken about the abuse he faced from classmates at school last month.

Speaking to the Evening Telegraph, Ash Dodds, 14, said that the support from friends, family, and school faculty have given him strength.

But Dodd’s mother, Sabrina Bannister, has criticized Morgan Academy, Dundee, for not immediately informing her about the attack.

What happened?

‘I’m not quite sure why it [the abuse] started,’ Dodds said,’ ‘but it began a few months ago and this one boy attacked me.

‘I just try my best to work on through it. I wasn’t injured.’

In the incident, classmates ‘strangled’ him on ‘two occasions,’ Yet, the school did not inform his mother that this attack took place.

Although, teachers at the Scottish secondary school put referrals whenever an incident takes place. As a result, one boy has been excluded.

His mother had no clue

Dodds said the abuse has been going on for several months, but the school did not make his mother aware ‘until the Easter holidays.

Bannister, 31, said: ‘I have contacted the police who are now treating this very seriously as a hate crime and are to visit the school.

‘I suffer from depression and anxiety and Ash has been suicidal about this bullying. I am really concerned something a bully says or does tips my child over.

‘Another slightly older lad has also been bullying him and calling him names.

‘It then escalated to strangling. It is just not on. He has now been excluded for a few days, three I think.

‘Despite it all Ash has been doing well at school and I don’t want his education to suffer because of this.’

‘Does not tolerate bullying’

The local paper spoke to a Dundee City Council spokesperson. They said: ‘The school does not tolerate bullying in any form and will take the appropriate action where necessary.

‘Families are always involved when any allegation is brought to the attention of the school.

‘The school has recently won an LGBT charter award.’

See also

Rabbis rally to support Israeli trans teen left with traumatic brain injury

Indiana high school plans to deadname trans teen at his graduation

Trans teen’s emotional reaction to finding out she can start hormone treatment

Author: Josh Milton

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Nearly 4 in 10 trans students with bathroom restrictions have been sexually assaulted

North Carolina's bathroom bill may finally end up dead

A new study revealed transgender, non-binary and genderqueer students are at higher risk for sexual assault if they attend a school with bathroom restrictions.

Researchers looked at data from the LGBTQ Teen Study, an anonymous web survey of US kids ages 13 to 17. The survey contains information from 3,673 teenagers in the country. They published their findings in the journal Pediatrics on Monday (6 May).

When looking at the respondents as a whole, 1 in 4 (25.9%) described themselves as victims of sexual assault in the last 12 months.

For non-cisgender LGBTI students, this rate was significantly higher. Nearly 4 in 10 (36%) of these students who attend schools with bathroom restrictions said they were sexually assaulted.

Researchers defined bathroom restrictions as an environment where teachers or staff have informed students they cannot use the restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity.

When politics turn violent

The debate about bathroom access became a nationwide conversation in 2016.

That year, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education released guidance together that institutions must treat a person’s gender identity as their sex, thereby protecting it under Title IX.

That same year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender student suing a Virginia school district after his school refused to let him use the bathroom corresponding to his gender identity.

Unfortunately, while the Obama administration officially supported Grimm, the Trump administration revoked support for transgender students. The Supreme Court then reversed its decision to hear the case.

North Carolina then continued the debate in a big way when they passed House Bill 2 in 2016. Though it was then replaced with another restrictive bill in 2017, a federal judge last year ruled this second law does not prohibit trans people from using the restroom corresponding to their gender identity.

An ‘indicator’ of dangerous environments

‘Unfortunately, kids’ access to restrooms and locker rooms has become very politicized in some communities,’ said Gabriel Murchison.

Murchison is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of this new study.

The study, Murchison clarified, does not state the restrictive bathroom rules are the reason for the increase in sexual assault cases, but that there is a connection.

‘They are certainly a strong indicator of environments where kids are at risk,’ he said.

He also explained that the discussion becoming a nationwide debate has put non-cisgender students in the spotlight. This could also partly explain the increase.

See also

Julia Roberts takes a stand for LGBTI youth with this simple but powerful photo

Assistant principal who bullied trans student in bathroom gets job back

Iowa students stage walkout to protest (and support) trans student using the bathroom

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post Nearly 4 in 10 trans students with bathroom restrictions have been sexually assaulted appeared first on Gay Star News.

California school district adopts LGBTI curriculum after hours-long debate

A child uses crayons to draw a picture

A school district in California formally approved a new LGBTI-inclusive curriculum following a public debate that went well past midnight.

Rocklin Unified School District, located in the northern half of the state, narrowly approved the new curriculum in a 3-2 vote on Wednesday (1 May).

The curriculum is for social studies and history classes in grades K-5, which consist of students aged 5 to 11.

Hundreds gathered at a Rocklin middle school gymnasium for the public debate. There were both supporters and detractors of the resolution. Supporters of the new curriculum wore yellow.

Those who do not support the new curriculum posited this age range is too young to learn about sexual orientation and gender identity. Some parents threatened not to send their students to school.

‘We believe that anyone who has made a significant contribution to society should, of course, be included in our history textbooks,’ said Rachel Crutchfield, spokeswoman for Informed Parents of Rocklin.

‘However, the concept of sexual orientation is far too complex of a topic for elementary-aged children to be introduced to at school. Children in second grade simply do not have the tools to comprehend sexuality, nor do we want them to. Let’s let kids be kids.’

One figure included in the new second grade textbook is lesbian NASA astronaut Sally Ride.

Adhering to state law

The new curriculum, known as Studies Weekly, complies with California’s FAIR Education Act. Passed in 2011, this statewide legislation compels public schools to include the contributions of LGBTI people, people wit disabilities, and people of color in lessons.

In November 2017, the state became the first to adopt new LGBTI-inclusive textbooks.

Many students spoke in favor of the new curriculum at the Wednesday debate, which didn’t end until 1 am.

‘All students should be able to see a role model in their textbook, and say, “A person like me did something great, and I can do something great too,”‘ said Whitney High School student Michael Whiteside.

Another Whitney High student, Rohan Sharma, explained that not including people’s sexuality, which were often a big part of their life, offered ‘an incomplete picture of history’.

The battle over education

Teaching about LGBTI history and figures is becoming a larger debate worldwide.

In the US, states beyond California, like New Jersey, are also adopting inclusive curricula.

Across the Atlantic in Birmingham, England, is creating a high-tension debate amongst its residents. Several LGBTI people there have said they have ‘never felt more vulnerable’ than they do now.

This is not Rocklin’s first headline when it comes to LGBTI issues in their schools. Last year, a lesbian teacher in the district faced bullying for her sexuality, from students and more.

See also

If we don’t teach children about diversity, lives will be lost

Arizona repeals law banning LGBTI and HIV instruction for students

How teaching LGBTI history could stop bullying in school

Author: Anya Crittenton

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