School board's transgender policy provokes backlash

Progressive policy would have let children gender identify as they choose, using bathrooms and pronouns of choice

By Natasha Lennard

Published October 19, 2012 2:47PM (EDT)


An Illinois school board approved bold and progressive policies on behalf of transgender students earlier this month. Under the new standards, teachers would address students by their name and gender pronoun of choice, without the need for any legal name or sex changes. Trans students would also be able to use the bathrooms of the gender with which they identify.

However, owing to a backlash from parents and local conservative groups, the East Aurora school board has been forced to reconsider its policies and will recast votes on Friday. "Every one of those parents was upset that we put this policy forward, and we are now going to go back and rescind that Friday night," said East Aurora School Board president Annette Johnson. Activists and other parents supported the policies as a step toward providing a safe, supportive educational environment for all young people.

Watch the video below for further details on the school board's decision to reconsider the new standards:


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Aurora Education Illinois School School Board Transgender