Oregon Schools Must Protect Transgender Students
UPDATE: January 20, 2015 - We sent a letter outlining the rights of transgender students to the Dallas School Board ahead of a special meeting held last night. The letter read, in part:
"The refusal to allow transgender students to use the same facilities used by other students in accordance with their gender identity violates Title IX and impairs students’ ability to learn, grow, and thrive in the school environment. Research shows that denying transgender people access to facilities that correspond to the gender they live every day holds serious consequences for them, negatively impacting their education, employment, health, and participation in public life. Conversely, full acceptance of a student’s gender identity—including allowing them access to gender-appropriate facilities —goes a long way toward providing a welcoming environment and a positive educational experience. Moreover, disclosure of a student’s gender identity, without their permission, is against the law and can have serious, long-term negative repercussions. It is critical for schools to respect the privacy of transgender students, even if the school is operating with no ill intent."
December 22, 2015 - Freshman year of high school is grueling enough without being outed to the whole campus community. But that’s exactly what happened to a brave transgender student at Dallas High School.
When the ACLU of Oregon first heard about Elliot Yoder’s struggle to go about his studies without harassment, we partnered with the Transgender Law Center to educate Dallas High School administrators about the importance of respecting transgender students. Transgender students in Oregon are protected by both state and federal law, and schools are responsible for the safety of their students. Even though we warned Dallas High School that publicly outing Elliot would be a violation of federal law, the school went ahead and sent a letter to the entire campus community doing just that.
We are committed to working with Elliot and the entire campus community to make Dallas High School a safe and welcoming place for all students. You can read more about Elliot’s story here.
TAKE ACTION: Sign this petition* from our friends at Basic Rights Oregon to call on the Dallas School District to ensure that the Oregon Safe Schools Act is fully enforced to provide all students with a safe and affirming education.
*By clicking this link you will leave the ACLU of Oregon website.