Several trans and gay students, parents and advocates spoke in defense of Brevard Public Schools guidelines which outline how transgender and other LGBTQ students should be treated in accordance with the state of Florida and federal laws. Students recounted first-hand experiences with discrimination and abuse. The school board meeting lasted more than four hours and drew more proponents than critics of the Brevard Public Schools guidelines.
The guidelines state, in part, that students may dress as the gender with which they identify, should be referred to by their preferred names and pronouns, can access locker rooms and restrooms consistent with their gender identities “or be provided appropriate accommodations,” and can participate in gender-segregated school clubs and activities, including sports, consistent with their gender identity.
Andrew Triolo, a 16-year-old Satellite Beach High School student who transitioned from female to male, said he experienced discrimination from peers but also staff, including four teachers, after coming out as a trans man. He told the board the guidance in the documents needs to be enforced.
“We are just children going to school,” Triolo said. “We want to learn to make friends and play sports, nothing more. Queer students are no different from other students in our school.”
via Florida Today
photo: Tim Short/Florida Today