May 24, 2009

cross-dressing- teacher


Your child’s second grade teacher could be a man one day and show up as a woman the next.
Here is the proposed definition of “sexual orientation”. Read it carefully.

Sexual orientation means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or gender expression or identity. As used in this definition, “gender expression or identity” means having or being perceived as having a self-image, appearance, or behavior different
from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.
Notice they include “gender expression” and further define it to include “appearance” and “behavior different from traditional” which legally can mean anything. This is the danger of this ordinance. It means that you will have to put up with any ones behavior even bizarre
behavior with this wording, nothing is excluded. “Appearance” means that a man who teaches in a public school could under this ordinance come to the class room dressed in “drag” (as a woman) and tell the kids I am no longer Jack but Jane. Under this ordinance nothing could be
done. This is poor public policy.

This is a report by CNN from AP dated November 27, 2006.
TUCKERTON, New Jersey (AP) — For nine years, he was Mr. McBeth, a substitute teacher who kept things moving along in the classroom and filled in ably when the regular teacher was out sick.

And then one September, he was Miss McBeth. The sex-change operation William McBeth underwent in 2005 roiled this rural, conservative area when she applied to be rehired as a substitute in Eagleswood Township. Parents packed a school board meeting last winter, some decrying what they termed an experiment, with their young children as guinea pigs; others

supported her right to be who she is and work at what she does best. But then a strange thing happened a few months later: When McBeth was up for a job at a different school in the area, no one protested. In fact, no one voiced an opinion at all when she was hired.

“There’s no doubt about it; they’ve calmed down,” said McBeth, a retired marketing executive and divorced father of three. “There’s no reason I shouldn’t teach,” said McBeth. “Look at me as a person: Am I qualified to teach? Yes. Do I have experience? Yes. Do I have a good report card from the schools? Yes. I have nothing to hide, and I’m proud of who I am.”

About 20 transgender teachers are working in classrooms nationwide, but more are in the process of “transitioning,” experts estimate. That opens up a host of issues the teachers — and their employers and students — have to deal with.

“The question often arises: Are transgender people competent to be employees, and those questions can come from co-workers, management or students,” said Chris Daley, director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco. “A lot of that is because there is a lack of information about who transgender people are.”

David Nielsen, a librarian at Southwest High School in Minneapolis, began living as a woman in the spring of 1998 and came to school one Monday as Debra Davis. She was sued by a co-worker who objected to her using the women’s restroom. The claim eventually was rejected by an appeals court, but not before local police got involved.
“I had a sex crimes detective in my building investigating me,” she said.

Part of the difficulty was the suddenness of Davis’ transformation.

“As far as I knew and as far as the school knew, I was among the first people to suddenly do that in a high school who worked directly with children, basically over a weekend,” Davis said. “I didn’t take a year off, I didn’t do it over the summer. Literally, a man left on Friday and a woman came back on Monday.”

She met with school officials and staff, and again with students to answer any questions they had.

“They asked, ‘What do we call this person?’ It’s Miss Davis now, it’s Debra,” she recalled. “It’s ‘she’ now. ‘What bathroom is she going to use?’ The kids did pretty well. Did they come to the library to see their new, improved librarian? You bet they did!”

The students were great, she said. Some festooned the hallways with signs of support, including one with the slogan “Hate Is Not A Family Value.”

Not every adult was as welcoming, though. “The people who struggled were people who struggle with diversity,” she said. They were concerned that “the kids would have to have contact with someone like me who’s an abomination of God.” For 72-year-old William McBeth, he had the feeling he was different from the age of 7. Growing up in Atlantic City, N.J., he would sneak into the closet to try on his mother’s and aunt’s clothes when no one was around, and wasn’t quite sure why.

“You had these feelings that you didn’t clearly recognize,” she said. “You knew you were different, and you knew these were thoughts you couldn’t bring up to anybody. I lived that life in fear. I did everything I could: I was a Boy Scout, a surfer, I was in the military. I ran a ski lodge in Alaska. I had a magnificent life.

“But you’re living under the fear that someone would find out about you,” McBeth said. “You know they wouldn’t understand; I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t until middle age that I knew there were other people like me.”

In 2003, while hospitalized for a heart condition, McBeth did some soul-searching.
“I said to myself, ‘What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to do in your life?”‘ McBeth recalled. “On your deathbed, you regret not the things you did, but the things you didn’t do. I said, ‘Well, let’s do it.”‘

McBeth had a sex change operation in May 2005, after a long process of psychological evaluation, hormone therapy and electrolysis. She said she erred by not keeping her certification as a substitute teacher current while she was out of work during the surgery. That required her to reapply, and set the stage in February for a contentious school board meeting in Eagleswood, a community near Atlantic City. One parent, Mark Schnepp, took out a full- page ad in a local newspaper urging parents to oppose the hiring.

“This person taught as a man, left for a year, and came back as a woman,” Schnepp said. “My biggest problem is it’s very young children in the Eagleswood school. For the young ones, it could cause tremendous confusion.”

But Scott Rodas, whose son is a third-grader in Eagleswood, said McBeth’s hiring “should have been a no-brainer. We should give enough credit to our children to know that someone like this isn’t going to hurt them.”

When McBeth was up for rehiring at the Pinelands Regional School system in September, no one said a word.

“I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with it,” said Katie MacPhee, a student at Pinelands Regional High School. “I can see where some people might have concerns, but people just need to get over it.”

Jennifer Boylan, an English professor at Colby College in Maine and author of the best-selling autobiographical novel, “She’s Not There: A Life In Two Genders,” said she was concerned about how students and faculty would respond to her transition six years ago.

“Everyone was extremely supportive and generous,” she said. “That surprised me, but maybe it shouldn’t have. It’s possible that we are all more grown up than we think.”
For some who have made the transition, what’s at issue goes beyond an identity change.

“This is about how we treat people in the workplace in a civil society,” said Jillian Todd Weiss, an assistant professor of law and society at Ramapo College in New Jersey, who transitioned in 1998, about five years before she began teaching. “It’s not about acceptance, although that would be nice. It’s about law and policy, which states that it’s illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of gender.”

Daley said the same rules apply to transgender teachers as anyone else.

“Just treat them like you would any other employee,” he said. “Give them a supportive, comfortable work environment, and you won’t have any problems.”

To date, McBeth has been very successful in her attempts not to have sex with her students. This sets her apart from a multitude of heterosexual colleagues who teach.
Now, let’s compare this with an ADN report on education, published May 7, 2008:

One out of 20 children entering ninth grade in Alaska will have a college degree 10 years later, giving the state one of the worst postsecondary-education rates in the nation.

Alaska’s efforts to improve the dropout problem over the past decade have also sunk. More than one in three ninth-graders will leave school before getting a diploma.
These results from a new state study released today show a faltering Alaska education system.

“(This) really sends the message of how immediate the need is and the gravity of the situation,” said Diane Barrans, executive director of the state’s Postsecondary Education Commission, which released the study. The report found Alaska ranking at the bottom of educational attainment indicators — from getting children through high school to achieving an advanced degree in a timely manner.

Alaska is:
• Eighth from the bottom among states in the number of ninth-graders graduating four years later.
• Fourth from the bottom in high school seniors going directly to college.
• Last in the number of college freshmen receiving a bachelor’s degree within 150 percent of the normal program length.
The commission, which was charged by statute with supporting postsecondary access in 2002, has achieved some gains with low-income Alaskans going to college, said Barrans, but the overall rate of Alaskans going to college has not changed.
The problem is cultural, she and the study’s author say.
“Alaska is a state of individualism, of people doing their own thing,” said the study’s author, Ron Phipps, of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Higher Education Policy. Phipps used to live in Juneau and was a previous head of the state commission.
“Like a sieve, kids are falling away,” he said.


First, the state needs to start by getting kids through high school.

“If you don’t finish the 12th grade, you aren’t going anywhere,” Phipps said.

The report cites grim statistics about how high school dropouts are more likely to end up in prison, have poor health or seek state public assistance.

Larry LeDoux, recently appointed commissioner for the state Department of Education and Early Development and slated to begin the job in July, said he hadn’t read the report and wouldn’t comment on it yet. He said, though, he knows Alaska has problems.

“We accept that we definitely have challenges before us,” he said from his Kodiak office, where he is still superintendent of the school district there.

He said he’s not sure whether he believes the dropout rates — they can often be skewed, he said — but if they are true, he has his work cut out for him.


Today, Alaska’s culture is not a college-going one. Kids look at parents who don’t have degrees but who have achieved financial success working on the North Slope or in construction and don’t see the need to get more education than they did. That culture is largely tied into roots of resource extraction — oil, lumber, mining or fishing, Barrans said.

“Alaska has been a state where people could live in a substantial manner in the past. … If you were a willing, hard worker and could train on the job, you had a return on that,” she said.

But Alaska is fast becoming a place where without post-high school education, whether that is a four-year college degree or training school, workers will not be able to measure up.

“It’s a myth that with a strong back and a clear mind you can have a well-paying job in Alaska,” she said.

To parents and students who balk at the costs of higher education, the commission wants better information flow from the high schools about financial aid, and strategies to cope with bills.

“There is a perception that postsecondary education is not affordable,” Barrans said. “In my view, they can’t afford not to invest in themselves.”


To change this, the commission is thinking about some bold moves, including requiring all high school students to take college-prep classes. The idea is that they can only opt out of rigorous math and English classes if their parents sign waivers.

Another idea is to plant the seed of college or technical school early in children’s minds, a project the commission has already begun.

At Willow Crest Elementary last week, members of the commission asked second- and third-graders what they wanted to be when they grow up.

In Carol Jerue’s classroom, children shot up their hands enthusiastically volunteering that they wanted to be — among various careers — a lifeguard, a drummer, a hairdresser. Then the kids were asked to draw pictures of there futures.

Nine-year-old Nyajal Barjuong, the daughter of Sudanese refugees, drew pictures of two careers, a basketball player and a singer. “That would be the most fun,” she said.
Jared Collver, 8, outlined a car with black crayon and some stick figures. He said his dream is to be on the TV show “Pimp My Ride.”

When asked if they wanted to go to college, both kids asked, “Why?”

But we should discriminate on a bias of sexual orientation? Because gay folks obviously have no place inspiring our children and teaching them that, at an individual level, they can make a difference. We should be much more afraid of whether or not there is a “Mr.” or “Mrs.” in front of their name, and not the knowledge that our children bring home with them at the end of the day. I know that when I am old and gray, and still financially supporting my offspring because they never were interested enough to aqcuire an education, I will be thankful, at least, that they were never taught by a queer.


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