JAMESTOWN-Challenges for transgender students took center stage at the Jamestown Public School Board Meeting Tuesday when Superintendent Tim Mains gave a presentation about new policies he hopes to develop before his departure in late February.
Mains says transgender students who question their identity face many worries ranging from acceptance to potential bullies. Currently, the district follows federal guidelines on the handling of transgender students, but Mains hopes to implement local policies shortly.
“If someone wants to be called by a name, we’re going to honor that,” said Mains.
On the bathroom debate Mains wants to let students use the facility of their choice.
“They should use the bathroom they are most comfortable in,” said Mains, “if someone else has a problem with that, it is up to the administration to help those folks who are having a problem.”
Helen Walther, Executive Director of the Southern Tier Trans Network, was at the meeting to show support for the talks.
When she was making transitions in high school in the early 70s, no one talked about transgender issues. Today, Walther hopes the school board will implement open and inclusive policies.
“Having a policy that affirms and includes these kids will save them from a lot of misery” said Walther.