Support Trans Safety at Oley Valley High School
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Many schools in Berks county have pushed for transgender friendly policies, shutting down hatred and transphobia along with it. Unfortunately, Oley Valley has not followed suit. Unlike its progressive counterparts, Oley Valley Senior High School recently told Carter J. Kucier, a transgender junior, that he would be punished for using the men's room. Since then, students have banded up in support of Carter. This was met with hostile backlash and transphobia.
Oley has had a history of transphobia. Substitute teachers have been reported calling students "it" and refusing to use preferred names. Many trans identifying students have reported violence and hate speech against them by fellow students, only for the school to ignore these claims.
Since Carter has been reported, the amount of hate speech and death threats he has received has skyrocketed, yet the school continues to do nothing. In fact, the school deals with Carter as if he is the problem, not the threats or violence he has received. This is unacceptable.
Oley Valley needs to follow in the footsteps of Boyertown and Exeter, introducing policies that protect their transgender students. Whether this allows trans students to use the restroom that is most comfortable for them or highlights (and punishes) bullying/hate speech that happens, a policy needs to be examined to ensure a safe environment.
Carter and students like him shouldn't have to fear their lives when using a restroom, and they sure shouldn't be punished for it either.
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