I’ve been trying to schedule a meeting with the administration of E’s Middle School all summer. Scheduling something with 5 or 6 school administrators over the summer has proven to be a challenging task. Still, I need to talk to them. I knew that they had been at the staff training at Concord back in February, so they were educated and on board. I had seen them at different events from time to time and I could tell they were well aware of E, knew me, and were eager to support us. Yet as the start of school approaches, I want to make sure we are all continuing to be on the same page. I want to make sure they remember that E will be using the boys bathroom and locker room and discuss what locker room behavior it typical at the school. I know these issues are on their minds too. One topic that they may not be thinking of, but is a biggie, is E’s name on his records. I want to make sure that every time E’s records are accessed – by a teacher, administrator, substitute etc. – his gender and correct name are clearly indicated.
This past spring, I witnessed a very awkward exchange between E and a substitute teacher in the Library. The substitute was working off a class list that had E’s former name on it. She was calling out for E, using his old name. E kept raising his hand, saying “I’m E (current name.)” This gut wrenching verbal dance went back and forth a few times. The poor sub was obviously confused by what was going on. The poor kids, who all lived through E’s transition, were all paralyzed by having a teacher insist on the wrong name for E. And poor E, just quietly affirmed himself over and over to her until she finally just gave up.
I do not want this to happen again.
So I was hoping to meet with the Middle School earlier in the summer, but it just didn’t work out. This week, we were able to lock down a date. In a stroke of perfect timing, also this week, the Human Rights Campaign, in conjunction with several other organizations, released a Guide To Supporting Transgender Students K-12. There, on page 20, was a whole section entitled “Student Records and Student Information Systems.” A guide on this exact topic. A guide! I was thrilled. In the arena of having a young trans kid, there are very few guides and we parents are often left to figure this stuff out on our own, with the help of a few courageous souls who are experts in this brave new world.
I want to share that guide with you here, along with some other resources that I have discovered. Whether or not you have a gender expansive or trans kid in your life, education is so important to social progress. I invite you to reply with resources that you have found helpful as well. And, of course, please check out the amazing trailblazers on my Blog Roll.
I was so happy to work with Simmons College on their Trans*forming The Dialogue Project. They have put together the following list.
These five short videos are a brilliant “Gender 101” and helped me so much in my early stages of understanding.