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Teachers at every level are asked to steer away from addressing their students as “boys and girls.” At least five students there now publicly identify as transgender, and the elementary school has a growing number of gay and lesbian students.
And now in seventh grade, Eynder’s grades are soaring.
And faculty members agreed that they wanted their students to learn important things about the LGBTQ community from them, not on the street. “We have a community of children that are informed about what is going on in the world, and we’re hopefully trying to build tolerance and acceptance.” After Di Russo’s son came out, so did others.
For Overton, in her second year as principal, the fixes were simple.
He asked his teachers to call him by his new, chosen name, Eynder.“He would be the kid that said: ‘I’m not standing in the boys’ line or the girls’ line.I’m standing in the middle,’ ” said Di Russo, a special education teacher.The Philadelphia School District in 2016 passed a policy that affirms transgender students’ rights to use the restrooms of their choice, to be called the pronoun they prefer, and to try out for whatever athletic teams they want to.Springfield Township schools, in Montgomery County, adopted a similar policy; so have the Great Valley School District, in Chester County, and Cherry Hill schools.
Meredith’s principal, Lauren Overton, said that she has gotten some pushback, but that overwhelmingly, families favor the actions the school has taken.