Transgender plan committee continues

And with the end of another Transgender Accommodation Plan Meeting, the group finished looking over the discussion-inspired student plan, and will get to the meat of the committee next: the policy.

“The over-arching goal here is to make sure that every student has a meaningful experience when they’re engaged in high school,” said Superintendent Bill McCabe.

The discussion regarding transgender students’ rights and the rights of all students on campus began at an October Lassen Union High School Board of Trustees meeting when community members, parents and staff posed questions about transgender students in locker rooms.

From there the committee formed and has been meeting regularly with the intent to bring a suggested policy with supporting documents to the board.

The recent committee meeting, held Thursday, Jan. 5., finished up discussion on the student plan, which, according to LHS principal Robin Pedrett, serves as a conversation starter, getting students to think about deep questions they may not have thought through yet.

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The plan, which is between the student, parent, principal and a counselor, addresses questions such as field trip lodging, pronoun usage and facility usage.

Pedrett said the plan helps clarify situations for parents and students, and said students will not always get their way, but what the student would like is noted.

During the meeting, a committee member brought up concerns about field trip lodging.

McCabe answered the situation would be dealt with as it happens since there are so many variations, such as a parent accompanying a transgender student, the student staying with a teacher or another plan.

There were also questions about students using facilities during sporting events at other schools and visitors coming here.

McCabe noted that for a transgender student to participate in a CIF sport there was a vetting process, since they are a private organization, but that students could use the facilities they identify with.

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Pedrett also shared some insight into the transgender students, noting that they often were not trying to make trouble by requesting to use certain facilities.

“These kids just want to be accepted for who they think they are,” she said. “These kids want to fit in – they’re’ not trying to be jerks.”

Finally, there was also discussion regarding the signature page, with a committee member questioning the Approved By title.

His concern was that the student or parent could come back to the document and say the school lied about allowing certain situations o say field trip lodging and sue the school.

However, McCabe said since the student was allowing for pronoun usage in the plan, it needed to be approved. Board member Margie Teeter, who attended the committee meeting, directed McCabe to ask the lawyer about the wording.

The next meeting was set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, and will focus around policy.

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McCabe said he would send out a packet with various different policies from other instructions to look at, and said to send him suggestions or questions prior to the meeting.