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 Transgender Students 
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So after class on Thursday I kept thinking what if a student came to me for help with the feeling that they are supposed be the opposite sex. I definitely would try to help them the best I could. What are some ways that we as teachers could help students who feel this way? Another big issue that hit home was the fact that doctors during deliver would give a little snip if something was "wrong" with the child and not even tell the parents. I feel like this is a huge problem because the doctor is not telling the parents and is also making that decision to make that "snip" or not. How do you guys feel about this? What makes it ok for the doctors to make those decisions? How should people react when they find out?

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Traci Miodusewski :)


Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:13 pm
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I feel like this is a difficult question to address due to the tricky situation is presents. The more I think about it I really do not know what I will do if a student comes to me with the concern that he or she is supposed to be the opposite sex. I really feel like this is one of those questions that you really cannot answer until you are put in that particular situation. I guess my best advice would either confront your school nurse/guidance counselor about the problem and what advice should you give the student, or actually send the student to the nurse/guidance counselor for guidance about this situation. Another option is sending a letter home to the child’s parents discussing what their child has confronted to the teacher. Although, I really feel like this would be hard for a teacher to get involved in, because for the most part parents may get ill at the teacher for sticking their nose in their child’s business. However, some parents may be grateful to the teacher for his or her consideration and thoughtfulness in helping their child. For the question that pertains to our feelings or reaction to doctors making the decision to “snipâ€

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Christin Peterson


Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:05 pm
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I was discussing this topic with my mom, mostly to find out how the student I had mentioned in class was doing (she didn't know). She told me that one of the teachers at her school had a related issue: The teacher gave out "rewards" for something -- it was sort of a grab-bag thing, where the students got to choose what their reward was -- and a male student chose a little red purse. Apparently the student's father got really angry at both the student and the teacher when he heard about this, and said that the boy couldn't have the purse. Mom wasn't sure, but she thinks the teacher handled it by telling the boy that he couldn't take the purse home, but it could be his special toy in the classroom.

So what do you do if you are fine with a student who tends to do things characteristic of the other gender, but his/her PARENTS are not okay with it? Do you all think this was an appropriate way to handle the situation?

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Lillie Jones


Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:22 pm
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I think that's a really tough question, Lillie. As much as I think we would all love to believe that parents will love their children no matter what, some parents are so set in what they believe is the 'right' way for their children to behave, they end up hurting the children in the process.

In that situation, should we schedule a conference with the parents to talk to them about the situation? Should we recommend the parents attend counseling with their children? Both of those options sound like good things, except that the type of parent who would get offended by a boy with a red purse are probably the type who would be equally offended by the suggestion of counseling.

If there's nothing to be done with the parents, is the best solution really to just encourage the child's self-expression in the classroom in spite of their situation at home? Or does that still give the child a sense that what they're doing is 'wrong'?

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Mandy Phillips


Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:31 pm
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I think in this situation every child is different. the age, background, and sensitivity of the child are all options to weigh in. A child who comes to you in elementary school is certainly different from a high schooler. Also, there is a line bewteen being the parent and being the teacher, even though in some cases, there is no parent that shows up until they feel they have been wronged. A child that comes to a teacher is probably one that feels they are not able to go to a parent and this can be very offensive to the parent. i think in an elementary setting the guidline should be that we as an individual, not a gender, choose how we behave and what we engage in. A boy who wants to play house, choose nail polish as a toy, or wear pink is not making a choice as a boy but as a person. The same is for a girl who wants to play with trucks, wears camoflauge, and chooses the toy that is not the pink purse. One of my friends has a little boy and I have watched him grow up in this area. i used to babysit him and another little girl and both wanted their nails painted and I complied. Because having color on your nails doesn't change who you are. nail polish is a okay excuse to paint your body. and let's face it, if we gave any kid the option of painting their body they would say yes. He went to school and was made fun of. He doesn't play sports and is made fun of. His favorite color is pink and he is made fun of. I ask you, who put these ideas into his PEERS heads about what is right and wrong? He snowboards, builds forts, and likes to create vampires stories and somehow, all that is okay. I know I am getting off subject, but I think this makes a viable point. We as teachers should allow children to be who they want to be as individuals. Once we lay the ground rule that choices are made by person and not by gender then maybe we will have allowed some kids the freedom and acceptibility to choose what they really want without a feeling that it is wrong or a problem they have to hide from their parents.

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Jennifer Doll Gray


Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:47 pm
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