Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How times change, while some try to keep things the same no matter what

Thinking back to my own years in high school just over three decades ago, I can’t help but wonder how different the reaction would have been had anybody brought up the idea of transgender students.

District engaged in confusion over transgender issue
I suspect that back then, the knuckleheads of the class would have thought they were doing all of us some sort of service by taking such a student and sticking his/her head in a toilet. If not just administering a beating.

THE SAD THING is that the school’s administration likely would have taken their side, and figured that the transgendered student already going through enough confusion in life brought all the abuse upon themselves!

So learning about the situation in Township High School District 211 in suburban Palatine makes me wonder just how far have we as a society progressed?

For it seems there is a transgender student who wants to be able to use the locker room facilities of the gender that the student identifies with – rather than the one the student was actually born to.

I could envision officials of the past wanting to think that student a trouble-maker and trying to find an excuse to suspect the student. It seems as though this high school wanted to try to cooperate.

ALTHOUGH THEIR LEVEL of cooperation comes in so low that it seems to be insufficient. Making it highly likely that federal authorities will wind up having to resolve this situation.

For that student already had filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s civil rights office, seeking the right to use the locker rooms at the high school. The school had suggested the student could use that locker room, but only if that student changed clothes and showered in private.

Locker rooms are now more than just a smelly place to change
The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that federal officials notified the school district their solution is inadequate. Supposedly, a written, more-detailed explanation will be forthcoming.

Although the district said in its own statement that the federal government hinted that their proposed solution is “inadequate and discriminatory.”

PERSONALLY, I’D BE inclined to say it’s just convoluted – because the idea of banishing this particular student to use of the locker room in private probably would do nothing more than reinforce the sentiment of some who want to think this particular person is some sort of freak who needs to be kept in isolation.

It even brings to mind the old “separate, but equal” status that used to be used to justify separate restroom facilities for non-white people.

I’ll be the first to admit this is an issue that confuses many people. It’s not one that I particularly identify with – since I have never had any real confusion about my own gender or any desire to be opposite of what I was born with.

But my own personal sentiment of thinking that people have a right to mind their own business – and not have other people mind it for them – makes me think we ought to sympathize with such people.

ALTHOUGH THIS ISSUE gets confused by the fact that most of the law concerning the rights of transgender people is geared toward adults. Someday, this person will have the law on their side.

Until then, they’re going to be stuck with suffering even more than the typical teenager does. Which is a real shame.

A ;major league' fossil?
Particularly since there are those who will want to interfere and “turn back the clock” so to speak. Take the attitude of former Houston Astros ballplayer Lance Berkman, who is opposed to an equal rights ordinance that Houston is contemplating, calling it a “bathroom ordinance” that would, “allow troubled men to enter public bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.”

Maybe he would think the Palatine high school district is justified, perhaps not even tough enough. Although he strikes me as someone who thinks he’s still in high school – and that the way of thinking from some two decades ago still applies.


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