Writer's update: A troubling turn took place Tuesday afternoon, March 4th when the student reportedly assaulted in a Hercules High School restroom recanted his story and admitted the attack was a hoax. The passage of AB1266, which allows transgenders to use facilities in school of choice, has created a volatile atmosphere where implemented. Although this 15 year old fabricated the story, it does not alleviate the issue still present regarding bullying and the frustrations identifying with being transgender. Out of unresolved problems minors and adults make poor decisions in desperation to correct or bring attention to their frustrations.
This teen's story was initially believable because of the past track record in the district.
Hercules High School and the Contra Costa school district have enough real issues to deal without having to deal with untruths, however there are still concerns regarding the implementation of AB1266. There still needs to be wisdom and compassion used in dealing with minors still comprehending their identity. As with many behaviors, children will act on whatever is being reinforced by society.
The variables are complex regarding developing minors and grievous errors are being made starting with AB1266's lack of concern of the rights of those that are not transgender. Expanding participation and mandating compliance to other impressible children is not a wise move.
Transgenders need our compassion and understanding without qualification, but they also need our wise council by not making things worse. Once again, the story as printed will remain as published with this admission to bring some clarity to the evolving climate surrounding the transgender issue.
When the California state legislature passed a measure to allow transgenders access to the facilities most comfortable with the gender they identify with, there was consternation voiced concerning the transgender individuals using the facilities to fulfill a perceived sexual fantasy.
Boy, were we wrong. For the most part all transgenders want is to be is left alone.
The real danger as demonstrated by recent events are attacks on transgender persons that can take place on public transportation, in schools, or other places with public access discloses that attacks can happen anywhere. This issue is apparently more complex than the superficial fixes thrown to accommodate transgenders.
Hercules High School has been the scene of at least two confrontations, one where a transgender defended herself after being bullied, and another event taking place in the school bathroom where three teens assaulted a transgender teen student legally using the facility.
The misconceptions and assumptions voiced have been directed towards those that are transgender as though they would soon be guilty of something. In reality the transgendered folks are the ones bearing the brunt of the abuse both physically and mentally in bullying or being the target of ignorance and rage.
Call it a demented attempt to prove your bravado or having your own sexuality threatened, the sexual assault taking place in the Hercules High School restroom has the fingerprints of three boys acting out their rage against an innocent transgender. You can bet there are multiple issues to deal with here.
Protecting everyone’s interest has not been thought out very well in the implementation of the law which forces many schools ill prepared to comply. In order to provide some measure of security, cameras have been installed in many schools with the hope the surveillance would deter problems. Unfortunately, some schools as Hercules High have not provided cameras as a deterrent.
A disquieting admission came in a news story filed by ABC News reporter Alan Wong when the school superintendent of West Contra Costa President Charles Ramsey who said,
“It’s particularly problematic because it happens here too often in West Contra Costa”.
Just last November a transgender teen was set on fire while sleeping on an Oakland transit bus by an Oakland High School student. In taking what School Superintendent Ramsey revealed concerning other unreported incidents, one would begin to realize bullying and violence against transgenders are not unusual happenings.http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/08/us-usa-california-hatecrime-idUSBRE9A702R20131108
Many businesses are already ahead of the curve by installing unisex bathrooms which allow one person at a time to use the facilities. It is not the best solution, however it is much better than doing nothing to resolve issues that are sure to continue.
Along with making mandatory access for transgender people in public facilities, there should be requirements as cameras to promote safety. The desire to cause mischief will diminish greatly if a surveillance camera is recording who is going in and out of the facility.
Allowing transgender access to their desired accommodation has not solved much as previously reported, what was not stated previously is the ongoing and increased risk transgenders have in using the facility of their choice.
Transgendered people are the ones who are the recipients mainly of aggressive behavior which is a fact long ignored.