Posted by: Ophelia | October 15, 2008

Kids Pulled From Transgender Teacher’s Class

A teacher’s gender reassignment surgery has caught the attention of some parents who want to know why the school district didn’t notify them ahead of time about the change.

A music teacher at Foxboro Elementary School, who was formerly a woman, returned to school as a man at the beginning of the school year.

Some parents told Travis Unified School District that they feel like their rights to know were violated.

“All the information came straight from our kids and didn’t come from the school board or the teachers … this has all been second-hand information,” parent Melissa Oiland said.

“I understand what parents are saying, but we have a right as an employer, we have a legal obligation as an employer to protect our employees,” Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak said.

Gavlak said the district consulted with lawyers and determined that legally, it could not disclose any information about the teacher’s gender change.”We will not be discussing personal matters with either the students, or the parents or the community at large … because we cannot,” Gavlak said.

Parent Angela Weinzinger, who has three children at the school, said she has since transferred her children out of the class.

“I wasn’t given the opportunity to make a choice on what I wanted to do with the situation,” Weinzinger said.So far, 23 students from 15 different families have transferred their children out of the music class and into a physical education class. (KCRA3)

“The situation” you mean someone’s gender? They feel that their rights have been violated because the school refused to violate the rights of the teacher and disclose their surgical history? Fuck that noise. I understand it’s a conversation that parents weren’t expecting to have with their kids but teaching their children to hate and fear those who are different–talking about people as if they have communicable diseases just because they’re trans, removing their children from the classroom as if they’ll be in danger or as if that will somehow remove the children’s awareness of what is going on–is teaching them an awful lesson. “The situation” indeed. The entitlement is deafening. If you’re going to be different you need to announce your intentions in advance so we can make time to shun you. Please.

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Responses

  1. I’d like to know what the hell the big deal was. They didn’t have time to decide for themselves not to shun the transgendered teacher? “I don’t like being forced to be accepting!!”

    Next we’ll have stories of people shitting bricks because they were never told their children’s teachers are Jewish or Black. I’d say Muslim or gay, but I’m fairly sure there are stories about people overreacting to that…

  2. Great job teaching your kids to be ignorant, mom and dad!

  3. Didn’t they do the black teacher thing in the 50s and 60s? They’re doing the gay and trans now.

    It’s the sad state of affairs but people, seems like a majority sometimes, aren’t actually any more enlightened than 50 years ago. It’s just that they’re ‘not allowed’ to discriminate on the grounds of race any more.

    Some religulous dimwits actually believe that the only thing stopping them from murdering random people is the ten commandments. Yeah, some dimwits aren’t actually capable of common decency so the only way to stop these ignorant fruitcakes is to make laws against stoning the fag/les/trans/atheist/papist/muslim/jap/kike (delete as applicable) to death, and then throw the b’stard(s) into jail for it. They’re certainly not getting any better from us just talking nicely to them.

  4. “‘I understand what parents are saying, but we have a right as an employer, we have a legal obligation as an employer to protect our employees,’ Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak said.”

    Well I don’t, and I’m a parent of an elementary school kid. I really don’t get what the big deal is, and why some parents feel utterly unempowered to talk about it with their kids.

  5. The teacher left in the summer a woman and came back in fall a man and nothing was discussed with ELEMENTARY aged children?! What an opportunity lost for communication. What are you expecting, parents in this community to hear from their ELEMENTARY aged children that the music teacher is now a man. And where does it say that the parents taught the children to hate? I would not have removed my children, I would have been thankful for the opportunity to show my children that there is nothing to fear, that it may be new and different, but not scary. The teacher, principal, and school board are the ones that missed an opportunity to educate… are we really expecting people to just automatically accept this. I think they should but it’s wrong to think they will… it was a bad approach to take.

  6. They still have every right to remove their children, and they did. If that right bothers you, Fuck the noise!

  7. This story made http://detentionslip.org ! Check it out for all the crazy headlines from our schools.

  8. Why the hell is it such a big deal to them? If someone is trans, that’s their business and it’s not like they’re harming the ‘precious children’ because of the choice they made to make the transition to their gender.

    People are such morons! It boils my blood that they get all snitty and hurt over something that forces them to accept more possibilities; that their children get to see different angles and … I… just cannot accept that someone can be so close-minded and offended over the personal rights of another human being.

    Get over yourselves, you self-centered twits!

  9. Hey Shaun? Who said they didn’t have the right to be bigoted fuck wits? Just because it’s their right doesn’t make it any less ridiculous or wrong, but no one is saying that they should be forced to keep their children in that teacher’s class anymore than the administration should be forced to violate the law for the sake of the concerned parents.

  10. I went to school in Vacaville way back in the 50″s. Back then my fourth grade teacher would made me stand in front of the class for almost 2 hours until I wet my pants. She was reacting to my continual reference to myself as a girl, even though my physical body was male. The school, the school board and my parents petitioned local mental health professionals to perform more than fifty electroconvulsive therapy sessions on me.
    That this same school would now support a teacher who has undergone gender affiermation surgery is absolutely fantastic.

  11. Please excuse the misspelling of affirmation.

  12. Just getting around to reading about this, and it makes me so upset. I have always been a supporter of transpeople’s rights and on trying, in any small way, to raise people’s awareness of what being trans means, but for the first time this year, I have met and gotten to know some transpeople. And to have it affirmed that discrimination and people being wrongfully fearfully of them is a real possibility in their life outside of college (no matter what I try to do about it) makes me sad. It’s so wrong.

  13. Sheesh! Why does everyone feel that they are “entitled” to be informed of the intimate details of someone else’s life?

    What is going on in our schools? Learning. That’s what’s (if the funding doesn’t get slashed) goes on in our schools. And you know what? Your child will learn math from a male just as well as from a female, and from a transgender individual just as well as from a “normal” (ugh, what a word!) individual.

  14. If someone is so screwed up in the head that they aren’t convinced they were born as the correct sex, I have a hard time seeing how they could be competent enough to teach children. It seems like more liberal idiocy, trying to force their [lack of] values on other people, especially our children and then making a big flatuent noise about “tolerance” [all the while being as intolerant and hateful in their speech as possible!] when they get caught.

    –Sirius Knott

  15. This is pretty surprising to me. Thanks for reporting it, the only thing you can really do is bring people’s attention to it.

  16. It’ll become easier as our technology develops. Within decades, more and more humans will be ‘changing’ sex more and more easily. Will this lead to a smudging of the gender line? Of a more ‘liquid’ thought of male and female? I hope so. I think.

  17. I did some awfully freaky stuff in college Amelia, that I wouldn’t want to discuss with elementary school age kids.

    Had the school, or better still the teacher her/himself, discussed it with the parents in advance perhaps we wouldn’t have the OUTRAGE on display in this post. I don’t have a problem with transgendered people, but it was awfully inconsiderate of the teacher to thrust it onto the parents with no notice.

  18. […] want to introduce you all too it. This particular post got me a little worked up. So……. CLICK HERE to read about something interesting about ingorant parents and a transgender music teacher. Great […]

  19. i’m stunned that those parents aren’t ashamed of themselves, they are actually mad and think they have been wronged! what the hell?!?!
    despicable.
    people are people are people. for goodness sake..

  20. Shaun, your comment couldn’t be any more irrelevant. No one said anything about how the parents shouldn’t have the right to remove their children from the school.

    Just as another example, if a parent didn’t like that their child’s teacher was black, they should have every right to transfer their child out of that class or to another school. However, it’s still fucking ridiculous and ignorant.

    Why would parents be so afraid of their children just knowing that transgender people exist? The students already know about their teacher’s transition, so do they think they’re actually hiding anything from them? They’re not “protecting” them from anything, but they’re definitely teaching the message that trans people are to be shunned and avoided. THAT was the point of the post. Try not to miss it next time.

    And Lynn, if the school took the opportunity to educate the students on this teacher’s transition, don’t you think the parents would have reacted the same way? I don’t think these parents were upset because it was a surprise or they weren’t told, that just seems to be an excuse they’re using. I’m pretty sure they’re just upset to have someone different teaching their children and it scares them. I don’t think the school could have done anything else to prevent the parents’ reactions.

  21. I’m a trans woman. I agree entirely that surgical status is no one’s business. But a person’s gender identity isn’t about that. A significant part is about who you are in the world, how you interact with people, etc. I do think it’s narrow-minded for parents to pull their kids from the class. But it might have been easier for everyone if the teacher had somehow put out a statement about his public change of identity. That way, he gets to control the story, instead of leaving it to the rumor mill.


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