The Green Party of Atlantic County Supports EHTSD Transgender Student Policy
The Green Party of Atlantic County (GPAC) supports the Egg Harbor Township School District’s (EHTSD) proposed policy regarding Transgender Students. This policy would put the rights of personal identity where they belong, with the student in all instances where the student is able to advocate for themselves. This policy aligns with the Green Party’s affirmation of self-determination with regards to a person’s gender identity and sex.
Green Party of Atlantic County, New Jersey
For Immediate Release
December 27th, 2016
Mico Lucide, Secretary, Green Party of Atlantic County and EHTSD Alumnus at AtlanticCountyGreen@gmail.com
This policy explicitly recognizes transgender and gender nonconforming students and their rights to appropriate treatment based on their gender identity including: use of appropriate names and pronouns, permission of use regarding gender-segregated facilities and activities, and acknowledgement of the students right to self-identify and self-express with regard to gender. In instances where the student is not able to advocate for themselves, such as in the case of young students, the policy offers parents the right to confirm the student’s gender identity. The policy recognizes that the parent of a student who identifies as transgender or gender nonconforming may disagree with the student, and in that instance the superintendent will meet with the parent and child to address how the school will proceed with regards to the student’s gender.
Students deserve to be protected in all instances where they may be at risk. This policy ensures that students are protected and given the same rights as any other student of their gender identity. The Green Party of Atlantic County affirms that it is no one's right nor responsibility to define someone else’s identity, and as such we must not treat others the way we wish to be treated, but we must treat others the way they wish to be treated.
This policy comports with the state anti-discrimination law regarding gender identity and expression in areas of public accommodation, and allows for a procedural means, rather than a litigative means, of addressing issues transgender and gender nonconforming students may face. Protection at the district level, as opposed to the legal level, enables students and families of any means to have their needs addressed without needing to enter a courtroom or pay legal fees.
Maryssa Brandt, ‘09 alumna and former President of EHT High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance, said on the subject, “To hear that the students of EHTSD still, in 2016, have to fight to receive basic rights from their teachers and school system is incredibly disappointing. I'm unspeakably proud of the students who have been brave enough to stand up for themselves, and of those who still go day by day being misgendered. I hope that EHTSD realizes the faults of their intolerance, and that trans and gender nonconforming students can feel safe in their own school district.”
The Green Party of Atlantic County encourages the Egg Harbor Township School District to pass this policy respecting the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming students. Failure to do so damages an already oppressed group fighting for recognition and justice in our society, and risks the safety and mental health of students within the transgender and gender nonconforming communities. The health and safety of the next generation of Americans is not something to take lightly; please err on the side of justice and pass this policy.