Wednesday was Transgender Day of Remembrance and a few organizations teamed up to hold a rally downtown. Free Mom Hugs and Stand with Trans hosted the event to honor transgender lives that are no longer with us. A few speakers talked before a crowd about their own experiences and offered solutions to problems as well as a few words of encouragement.
Arlington Public Schools has developed a new policy for transgender and gender-nonconforming students for the upcoming academic year. The plan, known as a policy implementation procedure (PIP), comes in response to requests from students, parents and local advocates. The PIP was announced at a school board meeting on June 18 and has received a variety of reactions from Arlington residents. “The PIP affirming transgender and gender nonconforming students is essential for the safety and privacy of students,” said local parent and advocate Emily Vincent. “Their gender identity does not pose a risk or danger to other students.”
A year in the making, the PIP was introduced by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tara Nattrass.
After months of deliberation and a slew of meetings trademarked with passionate arguments, the Williamston Community Schools Board of Education passed a pair of policies in November 2017 in relation to transgender youth and their definition, among other guidelines. And despite passing months ago, the debate surrounding the policies have yet to go away. Currently, there’s a pending federal lawsuit that names six of seven Williamston Board of Education members as defendants: Greg Talberg, Christopher Lewis, Sarah Belanger, Nancy Deal, Kathy Hayes and Joel Gerring. The seventh member of the board at the time, Jeffrey West, was the lone vote against the policies, which the school board passed 6-1. He is not named in the lawsuit.