School sends parents letter about transgender student

OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Some parents with students at Old Town Elementary received a letter that said there is a second grade student in the school that is transgender.

The school district mailed the letter to parents at the start of the new school year. It went to parents who have children in the same learning community as the transgender student, which is made up of about 120 kids from different grades.

The letter says the student "may be familiar to your children as a boy, but will now be recognized as a girl." It goes on to say that the student has identified as a girl for quite some time and will now be using a new name and dressing in a more feminine manner.

The student will also be using the girls' bathroom, according to the letter. It also acknowledges that this is a new situation for many people, including staff members. NEWS CENTER has attached the entire letter to this story.

The school was not legally obligated to send the letter, but the RSU34 Superintendent David Walker said it chose to. Legally, under the Maine Human Rights Act, the school is required to treat all students equally.

Walker said the child's family met with the school over the summer to develop a plan. The school drafted the letter, then the family and the superintendent reviewed and approved it.

Old Town Elementary wanted parents to hear the information from the school first, and not from their children, according to Walker.

There are several organizations in Maine that provide resources for people struggling with gender identity, advocate for transgender equality, and work to educate the community. Here are a few links to learn more:

Equality Maine

Trans Youth Equality

Maine Transgender Network

GLAD


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