Recently, 13 year old transgender Rachel Pepe was told she could not attend school this fall as a female.
Rachel had previously attended school as a male, but when her mother informed Thorne Middle School that “Brian” was now Rachel, the school balked. Rachel’s mother, Angela Peters, was told Rachel would attend as “Brian” or not at all. And, the would be no assistance provided in finding an alternative school.
From Huffington Post:
“He was going to school last year as Brian,” Angela Peters, Rachel’s mother, told the outlet, adding that her daughter had been suffering from depression. “How can I send her back as Rachel? And I am not sending her back as Brian because the depression will start again.”
On Monday evening, however, the superintendent of the school district, William O. George, said he would work with staff to make sure Rachel could attend school in a safe environment. According to Garden State Equality, George said Middletown Township Public Schools staff would undergo lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sensitivity training.
“We applaud Superintendent George for taking the right steps to affirm the health and safety of students,” GSE Executive Director Andrea Bowen said in a statement. “This is a victory for transgender students everywhere. This Middletown student and students like her are heroes for standing up for their needs. We’re excited that the community came together in dialogue to bring this situation to a happy resolution.”
In recent months, the U.S. Department of Education issued new guidance that Title IX, the federal legislation that prohibits sex discrimination, protects transgender students.