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04/19/2007


California Trans Student Recants Claim of Sexual Assault in School Bathroom: VIDEO

Hercules

A California transgender teen who was taken to a hospital Monday after telling school officials he was forced into the handicapped stall in the school bathroom and physically and sexually assaulted by three fellow students, told a police detective he made up the story, the AP reports.

BoysroomThe Contra Costa Times reported on the attack Monday, saying that "a 15-year-old transgender male student told police he was leaving the bathroom in the 300 building at around 11 a.m. when the three suspects pushed him inside a bathroom stall and physically and sexually assaulted him."

The paper also reported that no suspects had been identified or arrested.

Now the AP is reporting that the student confessed to making up the story:

Officers took his statement and opened an investigation that included a sexual assault examination. But as the investigation continued, officers could not substantiate the facts of the boy's statement, including the time frame, and the he lacked any physical injuries to his head, face and hands, police said.

The student finally admitted he had made up the story during the follow-up interview with a detective Tuesday, Van Putten said. She would not speculate on why he had lied.

"We investigated this thing as a true crime. We went at it full force until we found out there was no crime," Van Putten said. "So people should know if they believe they are a victim of a crime, we are going to give them our full attention."

The teen could possibly be charged by police with making a false report but the school has no plans to punish the student and says he clearly needs assistance of some sort.

Said the school spokesman: "We recognize that life is complicated, and at the end of the day this is a request for help."

The Transgender Law Center, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the RYSE Center and the Rainbow Community Center released an updated statement in response to the incident and false claims:

In light of recent reports, our hearts continue to go out to the youth and his family. We take very seriously every story about any student not being safe and supported. We understand violence and issues of safety are pervasive problems in West Contra Costa Unified School District, and we share the district’s stated goal of ensuring all students are able to learn and thrive in a safe, compassionate, and welcoming environment. We continue our strong commitment to all students, and our open invitation to partner with the district to create a positive school environment remains.

The student identifies as male and has the right to use the bathroom under the trans student rights law signed by Governor Jerry Brown last August which was the subject of recent failed efforts to have it repealed.

Watch CBS San Francisco's original report on the assault (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "California Trans Student Recants Claim of Sexual Assault in School Bathroom: VIDEO" »


Effort to Repeal California's Transgender Student Rights Law Fails to Qualify for Ballot

California

Efforts to collect enough signatures for a ballot measure that would repeal a new California law protecting transgender students have failed, the AP reports.

619, 387 signatures were submitted. To qualify, at least 504,760 of those needed to be valid.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the protections into law in August 2013. They require public schools to allow those students access to whichever restroom and locker room they want.

California Republicans approved a resolution supporting the law's repeal in October 2013.

NCLR reacts and reports on the efforts, via press release:

The law—also known as Assembly Bill 1266—went into effect on January 1st, ensuring that schools have the guidance they need to make sure all students, including those who are transgender, have the opportunity to do well in school and graduate.

The law is modeled after policies and practices that are already working well in several schools, and gives important guidance to educators so they can work with students and families on a case-by-case basis. 

Oakland’s Redwood Heights School is among the California schools with policies in place that provide transgender young people with fair chances. Like other schools with similar policies across the state, the policy has been successful since it was established five years ago.  

“We want our students to know that when they walk onto this campus, they are welcomed for who they are,” said Redwood Heights Principal Sara Stone. “Every educator I know went into the education field because they truly care about young people and making sure they have everything they need to do well in school.”

The law helps students like Zoey, a 12-year-old transgender girl from the Los Angeles area who transferred out of her school after administrators there refused to acknowledge her as a girl or allow her to use the girls’ restroom. Her mom, Ofelia Barba, says that the law makes it easier for her daughter to go to school and be herself.

“I love my daughter and want the same things for her that other parents want for their children,” Barba said. “I want what’s best for her, for her to be happy, and for her to be able to do well in school. No one wants to see any kid singled out and excluded from school because of who they are.”

The Support All Students campaign is comprised of a broad coalition of nearly 100 state and national organizations supporting the new law. The coalition includes Equality California, Transgender Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, ACLU of California, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Gender Spectrum, LGBT organizations, racial justice organizations, statewide teacher and parent organizations, and others committed to ensuring that all kids have the opportunity to do well in school and graduate.

Said Transgender Law Center Executive Director and Campaign Chair Masen Davis: “This law gives schools the guidelines and flexibility to create an environment where all kids have the opportunity to learn. We need to focus on creating an environment where every student is able to do well and graduate. This law is about doing what’s best for all students—that’s why it’s supported by school boards, teachers, and the PTA.”


Toni Atkins, First Out Lesbian Assembly Speaker Elected in California

Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, was elected as the next Speaker of the California Assembly yesterday, Frontiers reports:

AtkinsShe is the first open lesbian to serve as speaker—and she takes over from the first openly gay man, current Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. The Speaker of the Assembly has often been described as the second most powerful person in state politics after the governor.

Atkins is also only the second Democratic woman to be elected to the post, according to a press release from her office:

"I am humbled, grateful, and ready to get to work,” says Atkins.  “From the drought we are experiencing to ensuring a healthy business climate and a world class educational system, California is facing important issues in the near future.  I look forward to leading the State Assembly in working with the Senate and the Governor to meet our challenges and to move our great state forward.  I thank my Assembly colleagues for their confidence and support.
 
I also am very grateful to Speaker Pérez for his support and mentorship and I look forward to working with him on a smooth transition.”

Congrats to Speaker Atkins!


Transgender California Teen, Suspended For Dress Code, Slams School's Double-Standard

HolidayyStaceyy Holidayy, a 15-year old, transgender high school student, received a two-day suspension from officials at El Rancho High School for a dress code violation last Wednesday. Holidayy's blouse had cut-outs that exposed parts of her upper and lower back, as well as her undergarments.

The student claims that she was actually attempting to get a rise out of her school's officials, due in part to the confusing mixed messages she has received regarding their acceptance of her female identity. Holidayy was reportedly urged to use a private bathroom in the nurse's office to change for gym class and use the restroom, making the consistently bullied teen wonder at the school's pick-and-choose recognition of her gender identity.

Whittier Daily News reports:

“I don’t know how they can suspend me because I broke rules for girls when I can’t use the girls restroom or locker room,” she said Friday at her home.

El Rancho Unified School District Superintendent Martin Galindo disputed that claim.

“Staceyy was suspended for not changing out of her partially backless top,” he explained. “She was given multiple chances to change but refused.”

...

He explained that school officials concluded that it would be safer for Holidayy, who chose to use the double y’s in her first and last names because she wanted her female moniker to be unique, to change for P.E. class in the nurse’s office, as well as use the office’s restroom.

The two parties disagree on Holidayy’s acceptance of that practice.

Galindo said she agreed to the arrangement, while Holidayy said she had no choice but to do so. “It made me feel bad and different using the nurse’s office,” she said.

Galindo also assured that Holidayy is technically allowed to use female facilities at the school, in accordance with California's AB1266 legislation which protects transgender youth's use of facilities that match their gender identity in California public schools. For Holidayy, the incident is another in a long line of difficulties she has faced.

“I just want things to change, to get better,” she said.


Fox News Commentator: Transgender People Don't Exist

FOX News's resident transphobe Dr. Keith Ablow is back with another column denouncing the California law protecting transgender students that conservatives are currently trying to repeal via the ballot.

AblowWrites Ablow:

...I believe that children have enough to deal with as they struggle to feel comfortable with their bodies, with the notion of privacy and with later changes involving puberty without urging them to grapple with the notion that their souls may have been born into the wrong bodies.  

What’s more, I don’t believe we have definitive data (although many psychiatrists with very impressive credentials, who seem to mean well, assert that we do) that any male or female soul has ever in the history of the world been born into the wrong anatomic gender.

Let me put that more clearly:  I am not convinced by any science I can find that people with definitively male DNA and definitively male anatomy can actually be locked in a cruel joke of nature because they are actually female. 

You see, the law, according to Ablow, is all a plot by Governor Jerry Brown to "disempower people":

And shaking the certain knowledge in boys and girls of whether they can count on not being seen naked by the opposite gender, not to mention whether they are themselves actually the gender they thought they were, is a powerful, devious and pathological way to weaken them by making them question their sense of safety, security and certainty about anything and everything.

That way they’re less likely to be in a position to want to be autonomous.  

That way they’ll keep on thinking they need people like him to build them a government that suffocates them and deprives them of liberty.


NOM's Brian Brown Says Rose Parade Gay Marriage Float Was Used to 'Indoctrinate Kids' - AUDIO

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown fell back on some of his well-worn talking points when discussing the same-sex wedding that was featured during last week's Rose Parade in Pasedena. Brown's comments that the float was really just used to "target children" came during a radio interview with Voice of Russia on Friday. Via Right Wing Watch. 

Said Brown:

Brian Brown"We know that when you redefine marriage this is taught in schools, we know that teachers tell kids that folks who believe in this notion of marriage as a union between a man and a woman are discriminating, they’re the functional equivalent of bigots.

And now it hasn’t even stopped in the classroom, now the idea has to be, well, at family events we need to make a point to have a same-sex marriage to sort of put it right in their faces and call them out. Well, that’s just wrong. In America, we can disagree over key issues, but the idea that you would target children and make this about using a family event to sort of indoctrinate kids, that’s just wrong."

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NOM's Brian Brown Says Rose Parade Gay Marriage Float Was Used to 'Indoctrinate Kids' - AUDIO" »


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