There was a day when the East Aurora School District 131, in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois, approved a policy that would protect the rights of transgender students, allowing students to use the restroom, locker room, and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity and be called by the name they preferred.
It was a good day.
Then the Illinois Family Institute got involved, writing on their hate-site: “Apparently, all that’s needed for school personnel to be compelled to participate in a fiction is for a student to pretend ‘consistently’ at school that he or she is the opposite sex. … This feckless school board has made a decision to accommodate, not the needs of gender-confused teens, but their disordered desires and the desires of gender/sexuality anarchists who exploit public education for their perverse ends.”
An emergency meeting of the school board was called and just four days after approving the policy, it was rescinded. Board president Annette Johnson said the board needed time for input on the policy by state officials: “I sincerely apologize that we didn’t watch closer, [but] public education has to address everyone’s needs.”
The board has said they will revisit the issue next month. But this begs the question of who controls policy in Illinois schools? Local school boards or an anti-LGBT group?
Anthony Martinez, executive director of the Civil Rights Agenda, said the board had "been bullied into having this meeting,” noting that the meeting to rescind the new policy came on Spirit Day, a day to stand up against bullying of LGBT and other youths.
Shannon Sullivan, executive director of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, issued a statement saying, “We are beyond dismayed and shocked that concerns from outside the district would drive this type of reactionary decision. We maintain our commitment to supporting the families and students of District 131 in being heard over the outside concerns of hate groups. This work will continue.”
Again, who sets policy in Illinois schools? It seems that they bow down to groups like the Illinois Family Institute, a group designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
For four days there was inclusion, then hate reared it's ugly head and now transgender students are back to being discriminated against.