School accommodates rare request

Kelly Copeland

Assistant editor 

A decision made by the Douglas County School District in Highlands Ranch, Colo., last week shows just how far parts of our country has progressed.

A second grade boy who wants to dress like a girl and be addressed with a girl’s name has just been given permission to do so.

This is a ground-breaking decision on the school district’s part. It is not at all surprising that there is a lot of controversy among parents at the school because they think it is an inappropriate and confusing subject for children.

It is a difficult subject to grasp, but because being homosexual is more accepted today, it’s the perfect time for students to learn about others who are gay, lesbian or transgender. Children usually accept what they are told without question, and if they can be taught early on that being different is OK, it will most likely help them be more accepting as they grow up.

In a story featured on Colorado’s Channel 9 News on Feb. 9, a spokesperson for the school district had a good point:

“As a public school system, our calling is to educate all kids no matter where they come from, what their background is, beliefs, values, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

There are a lot of close-minded people who look at transgenders as though they are freaks, and I applaud the school district for allowing the student to express himself, even though it raises a difficult topic.

Perhaps one reason I approve of the school district’s decision is because I have a transgender friend. What I have learned from our friendship is that a man or woman who feels like the opposite sex is not choosing such feelings; it is just who they are. The more people suppress a feeling to avoid ridicule, the more unhappy they are throughout life. And if this boy has already figured it out and isn’t afraid to be who he is, why should anyone be opposed to that?

I realize transgenderism in elementary schools is a sensitive subject, but the school appears to have a plan for handling it smoothly. They will call the student by name, instead of using “he” or “she,” and he will be able to use a unisex bathroom to avoid making other students uncomfortable. As a form of education on the subject, the school is handing out informational packages to parents.

To make this transition work, counseling is a must. It is a big deal for a second grader to make such a life-altering decision, and it can only be successful if the school, administration and parents accept it because of the questions other students will inevitably ask.

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