Transgender Students Using School Bathrooms Aren't Threats, You're Just Transphobic

Transgender Students Using School Bathrooms Aren't Threats, You're Just Transphobic

Students of all genders deserve the same amount of dignity and respect.

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Being able to use the bathroom of the gender I identify as without having to worry about being threatened for it is a privilege that I often take for granted as a cisgender person. I am reminded of this privilege whenever I read the stories of transgender people, like Maddie from Oklahoma.

Maddie, a 12-year-old transgender girl, became the target of violent threats from multiple students' parents that go to her middle school all because she had decided to use the girls' bathroom. She had previously been using the staff bathroom for two years, but since she was placed in a new building for her first day of seventh grade, she did not know where the staff bathrooms were, so she decided to use the girls' bathroom instead. This caused a massive uproar in a Facebook group of the students' parents where many of them posted dehumanizing comments.

Jamie Crenshaw, a parent in the Facebook group, started the attacks towards Maddie by writing a post saying:

"The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he has his own restroom yet he is still using the girls. REALLY.... Looks like it's gonna be a long year."

Crenshaw's husband then shared a screenshot of her post on his Facebook page, which led to even more horrifying comments.

Maddie should not have to resort to using her own personal bathroom in order to appease the parents of her school. She is just like any other girl that uses the girls' bathroom and she should feel safe enough to use it as she pleases. Her gender identity does not make her a threat, nor is it the only thing that defines her. Seeing Crenshaw refer to Maddie as "the transgender" is vile because it proves that she does not respect Maddie enough to call her by her name, so she uses the word transgender as a label of contempt.

Crenshaw's behavior was already despicable enough, but other adults from outside of the district took it even further by calling Maddie "this thing" and a "half-baked maggot." There was also a comment left where an adult encouraged the other students at Maddie's school to beat her up if she tried to use the girls' bathroom so that she would avoid using it in the future. Another adult even threatened to mutilate Maddie by saying:

"If he wants to be a female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick."

These disgusting posts were eventually seen by transgender activists that decided to write to the superintendent and organize a protest at the school. The district responded by canceling all classes on August 13 and 14 in order to protect the students from potential demonstrations from groups opposing the activists.

This alone proves just how idiotic all of those posts from the parents really are. They believed they were protecting their children and the other students by bullying Maddie, but really what they accomplished was the exact opposite. I refuse to believe that a 12-year-old girl using the bathroom is a threat to anyone. Transphobia is much more dangerous, and thanks to all of those Facebook posts, those parents were practically inviting transphobic protestors to their children's school.

I still cannot wrap my mind around how a group of adults can justify bullying a young girl. Maddie was treated as if she was a monster that would harm the other students when the only monsters were actually the grown adults trying to intimidate a 12-year-old girl for using the bathroom. Adults are supposed to set the example for children to follow, but these past few years I have seen more children and teenagers being open-minded and inclusive to transgender people than adults. It is time for adults to catch up and realize that transgender students are not a threat to cisgender students. They deserve to be treated with the same amount of dignity and respect as anyone else.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

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Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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