Trans boy demands apology after being referred to as ‘girl’ by teacher

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Demands are being made that an Iowa teacher should apologise to a trans boy who they referred to as “girl” multiple times.

The ACLU of Iowa wrote a letter on Friday to the Newton school district.

The letter states that the student, who came out as a trans boy two years prior, was referred to on two different occasions as “girl” by a gym teacher.

It states that the boy had written “love trumps hate” on his forearm, but was told to wash it off or to leave the school.

Despite the incident having taken place in November, the ACLU sent the letter this week, on the anniversary of the 48th year since the Tinker v Des Moines Independent School District, which affirmed students’ rights to free speech.

“The irony is not lost on us, a half-century later. Students are still fighting the same fundamental battle for freedom of speech,” said Veronica Fowler, spokeswoman for the ACLU of Iowa.

“It was clearly a disrespectful and harassing thing to do to this student.”

It comes days after the Trump administration rescinded guidance introduced under the Obama administration, which protected trans students’ right to use a gender-appropriate bathroom.

The school district responded to the letter.

Bob Callaghan, Superintendent, told the Des Moines Register that the district is “committed to providing its students with a safe and positive learning environment.”

“The district takes all such allegations seriously, and is conducting an investigation,” he adds.

“The district will take other responsive action as appropriate.”

Beth Tinker, who sued the Des Moines district in 1965, after being disciplined for wearing a black armband in protest against the Vietnam war, condemned the actions by the school.

She says: “I’ve been disappointed to hear that he’s been disrespected, and his rights violated. I know how that feels. It’s not always easy to stand up for yourself, especially if your ideas are unpopular or new.”