Should teachers have to put the welfare of transgender students before their own beliefs?

Maddison Collins

In Virginia, a battle is raging over a new transgender rights policy passed by the Loudoun County School Board (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/virginia-school-board-passes-lgbtq-inclusivity-policy-sparked-protest-resignation-n1276676) in August. The policy mandates that teachers and administrators are required to address students by their preferred name and pronouns and not by their biological gender. The purpose of this policy is to create a safe environment for the students.

In May, there was a school board meeting on a teacher not respecting a trans student. This is what he said, “I’m a teacher but I serve God first,” Cross said, during the meeting. “I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion. It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.” Comments like that make it hard for students and teachers to respect their rights. Like should teachers respect their religious beliefs or should transgender students be themselves. If religious values had a place in school, which they aren’t, teachers and administrators shouldn’t call that abusive or not respect the child’s rights.

Teachers need to respect transgender students like they would respect male or female. More than a third of students feel unsafe at school. Teachers like Cross believe that they are protecting students by refusing to affirm their identity. Many students feel misunderstood because society has not accepted the existence of transgender people at any age. If Cross and the other teachers involved in the lawsuit can’t put their personal and religious beliefs aside, they should step down from their position at Loudoun County Public Schools. There’s no place for hate and discrimination in gym class.

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