Target: Doug Mering, Vice President of Baraboo,WI School Board
Goal: Praise efforts to make Wisconsin schools more trans-inclusive
As the trans population becomes more visible, issues surrounding sensitivity and trans rights grows inevitably prevalent. Schools across the United States are grappling with how to be more inclusive to trans students in various school activities and facilities, as evidenced by the new policy put forth by Baraboo, Wisconsin’s school board.
The Baraboo Board of Education has elected a Transgender Participation Policy which, combined with nondiscrimination standards presented by the state’s interscholastic athletic association, ensures that all trans students are eligible to participate in athletic activities and use facilities that are in line with their self-identified gender identity.
The policy won’t only allow trans male students to play on male teams, or trans female students to play on female teams, but will open up the discussion to possibly revolutionizing the state’s entire school system to being more trans-inclusive. Since the policy has passed, school administrators and students have undergone sensitivity training and educational workshops to equip them with the knowledge needed to handle unique transgender student issues.
Although opponents of the policy argue that a trans-inclusive school district may contradict religious beliefs and put other non-trans students at risk, Vice President of Baraboo’s school district, Doug Mering, who spearheaded the policy, remains confident in his stance to protect the rights of trans students, stating “…adopting [such] a policy is a way to be proactive…”
Attending school as a member of the LGBT community is tough on many trans students. However, Wisconsin joins other states like California, Colorado, Maine and Minnesota in the fight to protect the rights of transgender students. Sign the petition to thank Vice President of Baraboo’s school district, Doug Mering, for recognizing the need for more trans-inclusivity and respect, and for leading a policy to rectify those issues.
Dear Mr. Doug Mering,
It has recently come to my attention that the Baraboo school district will adopt a trans-inclusive policy that allows trans male and trans female students to participate in sports and use facilities that are in line with their gender identity and expression. Despite opposition, you’ve relentlessly upheld your support and fought tirelessly for the rights of trans students. And, for that, your efforts deserve to be applauded.
Attending school is one of the biggest hurdles in a young trans person’s life. Bullying, lack of support and no advocacy for trans rights makes school a difficult phase for countless trans youth and young adults. However, your policy will open up the conversation about how important it is for schools across the United States to be allies and form significant alliances.
Thank you for standing up for the rights of trans students in your school district, and I hope that you continue to support LGBT rights beyond this monumental policy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Vade Parvis via WikiMedia Commons