MONROE, CT — A proposed policy meant to make transgender and gender non-conforming youth feel safe and protected from bullying in school faces criticism from several parents, who worry about the fairness of girls’ sports and say they fear for their daughters’ safety in bathrooms and locker rooms.
These sentiments were expressed at the Board of Education’s Policy Committee and regular board meetings Monday night.
In a letter read aloud by Chairwoman Donna Lane, one parent called the proposal “dangerous” and “disgusting” and called its author, Board of Education member Nick Kapoor, “dangerous.”
However, not everyone spoke against the proposal for a Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth Policy.
Janice Persico, whose daughter, now 15, came out as a boy last year, spoke at both meetings.
Persico said her son has struggled with the bathroom issue and had to be taken to Yale New Haven Hospital twice, because of suicidal thoughts.
Persico said her child does not play sports and she does not know what the solution to the bathroom issue should be.
“We have amazing teachers and schools, which should be good for all kids, no matter how they identify as,” she said at the Policy Committee meeting.
Michael Osborne, who has two daughters, told Persico he sympathizes with her, but that he disagrees with the policy.
“I want to protect and preserve their innocence at their age,” Osborne said of his children. “It may sound insensitive, but it should be what’s for the greater good instead of making the majority struggle for one person.”
“Transgender are not out to hurt anyone,” Persico said, adding she could also see her fifth grade daughter saying she does not want a boy in her bathroom.
Osborne said he knows a child who is transitioning, whose story the younger sister shared with friends. “And now they’re questioning themselves, ‘am I a girl or a boy?'” Osborne said. “My kid doesn’t know if there’s a Santa Claus,” he added of the impressionable ages. “I think schools should teach and not be involved in political rhetoric.”
David Orr and his wife, Michelle, also attended the Policy Committee and school board meetings to express their opposition to the policy.
David Orr said he believes it is an imposition of transgender issues on children who are not at the appropriate age and a “severe imposition on women’s rights.”
He said biological boys have higher bone density, muscle mass and testosterone than girls, so transgender female athletes would put biological girls at a tremendous disadvantage in sports.
Orr said transgender youth can use the nurses’ bathrooms at school. Of transgender girls sharing the girls’ bathrooms, he said, “my daughter is not comfortable with it.”
“None of us want to see transgender youth being mistreated,” Michelle Orr said. “We already have a bullying policy. I don’t want to see any child bullied or mistreated, but there has to be something better for the things my husband mentioned.”
Carrie Lampley said she does not have a transgender kid or know anyone who does, but added her family stands for diversity, tolerance, inclusion and education.
“My daughter thinks this is ridiculous and wonders why all of this is going on,” Lampley said of the ongoing debate.
In response to parents who say their daughters are not comfortable sharing bathrooms, Lampley said, “leading questions to children give them opinions.”
Letters in opposition
During the Board of Education’s regular meeting, Chairwoman Donna Lane read letters from some parents into the record.
One was from Gary Corigliano, who expressed opposition to the policy and claimed it was “rushed” and “not thought through.” He expressed concerns over the fairness of school sports and the best interests of safety for all.
“These are our children. They need to be able to be children without being accosted by an agenda that includes Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ issues,” Corigliano wrote. “Our children do not deserve to have transgenderism rammed down their throats. This agenda put forth by Mr. Kapoor is not only disgusting, it’s dangerous. Our children, our young daughters in particular, are being placed in danger.”
Corigliano posed a scenario of a boy who identifies as a girl being allowed into a girls’ bathroom or locker room, which he said increases “the potential of our girls to be assaulted, raped or violated.”
“Any parent in their right mind should rail against this,” Corigliano continued. “Our children need to be kept safe and also need to be shielded away from this dangerous and disgusting agenda.”
“Whatever happened to just letting our kids be kids?” he asked. “It’s clear that our education system is unfair and unsafe and is barreling off the rails. This school system needs a complete overhaul, which includes getting rid of dangerous people like Mr. Kapoor.”
Later in the meeting, Dr. Alan Vaglivelo, a board member, asked Lane if there is a policy against allowing personal attacks on board members.
Lane said there is a policy against personal attacks against staff members, but Board of Education members are elected officials, who are more open to public scrutiny.
In another letter, Christina Grech also expressed concerns against Kapoor’s policy proposal, saying her daughter would feel uncomfortable changing in front of someone who is not a biological female or sharing the same bathroom.
Grech also mentioned the fairness of girls’ sports and spoke against Critical Race Theory.
Of Critical Race Theory, Lane said after the meeting, “the board is not taking up that issue, because we do not teach CRT.”
‘Inclusive and welcoming’
Persico spoke a second time during the public comment portion of the regular board meeting.
“It’s a very complicated situation and I hear people saying, ‘think of the greater good of the kids,’ and of course we do. That is actually in all of our hearts,” she said.
“I think we need to have a policy that allows them to know what to do,” Persico said. “My child didn’t know what to do when he came out. There’s no policy that says, ‘this is what you should do,’ and I think we need that for the kids.”
“And actually, it’s Connecticut State law that they are allowed to use the bathroom of their identity — and locker room,” she added. “Maybe they could debate that at the State level to change that, but we should absolutely have a policy in our town on how to make these kids feel included.”
After the issue was discussed, Persico told The Sun, “I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about being inclusive and welcoming. They are unique students, who have unique needs. They should have a place where they can go to the bathroom.”
Persico said the nurse’s office is only one bathroom option in the entire school building.
“If you look at the kids in Masuk, you often don’t know if someone is transgender, unless they tell you or you knew them before the transition,” she said.
Despite opposition expressed to a Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth Policy, Kapoor, who is concerned over transgender kids who struggle in school and statistically have higher rates of attempted suicide, will continue efforts to have a policy for Monroe public schools.
“Our community is at its best when citizens participate in our government processes,” Kapoor said after the meeting. “I thank everyone for coming out tonight and am looking forward to continuing the conversation on this policy.”
It is so very sad to read the closed mindedness of residents of my town.
I agree. So disheartening.
I am a medical professional who works with trans and gender diverse people to help them find their voice. To those with trans children, keep fighting for them. They deserve to be heard, seen, and supported!
All students, regardless of gender/gender identity, are entitled to receive an education in the least restrictive environment. In my opinion, that means that we need to demonstrate inclusivity and accommodate EVERY child in Monroe, because it’s not easy to be a child that’s different or struggling, and we need to show all of our kids that we love and value each and every one of them.
Transgender does not mean sexual predator!! In many colleges there are unisex bathrooms. Changing May be done behind locked doors in a stall. A boy may use the stall vs a urinal if uncomfortable . If a transgender youth needs to feel comfortable, they should be allowed to use the nurses bathroom. It takes very little modification but calls for kindness and inclusion .
Well… Hatred against the LGBTQTIA community is apparently alive and well in Monroe, CT. Shame on us. It is unacceptable that our children should have to face the consequences of phobic parents and other hateful community members’ ignorance.
I have seen Nick Kapoor attacked viciously before, and it speaks volumes of the lack of character and integrity of those individuals. Meanwhile Nick is an incredibly collaborative, compassionate, intelligent, capable, and loving person who has inclusivity and safety of our community at the forefront of his mind. He’s demonstrated that time and again.
Its not hatred to observe the reality of sex. Sex is not gender. You can change gender. You cant change sex.
Trans kids do exist. But if we allow trans kids to enter the space for the opposite sex, nothing stops predatory behavior from teen boys. It happens in prisons, transition houses, and schools.
Girls are targeted for their biology.
We have physical fitness tests which are separated by sex for a reason. They achieve at different levels!!
If we combined males and females in sports, females would be lost in the dust.
The fastest adult female runner can be beat by 300 high school aged boys.
Use your brains
Love, an lgbtq individual 🙂
Use YOUR brain.
Calling someone “disgusting” and “dangerous” for their views on inclusivity is 100% hatred. Just because you have a different perspective doesn’t make that untrue.
Your brain apparently isn’t being used correctly as everything you said is inherently false.
Define what sex means then? I think you’re misunderstanding. Also just because you’re LGB doesn’t mean you understand the T. And you clearly don’t.
Whatever happened to what God says , He made them male and female . He didn’t say I give you a choice as to what sex you want to be.It is so difficult to see what is being done to our children . God have mercy.
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I’d leave my full comment here but it is WAY too long. I’ll send it to the Sun directly.
The bottom line is that our transgender kids need to feel safer and as welcomed as every other child. I have a transgender son (afab-assigned female at birth) and am worried as well about the bathrooms and locker rooms and sports, but there needs to be a solution that works for everyone. The parents that don’t accept transgender children are ignorant and need to educate themselves. It’s more likely a heterosexual child will attack a transgender student out of sheer hatred, usually learned from their parents.
Citizens are entitled to their opinions on an issue but they are not entitled to slander a Board of Ed member doing his job. It is always better to have a sanctioned policy so there is a standard resolution when issues arise. The Board Chair should never have allowed a personal attack on a Board of Ed member. It seems the Board should also develop another policy to protect its members while doing their job!
Trans men still require female health doctors. Its not offensive to observe sex. The male and female bodies are totally different even after transition. Trans women still have prostates. They dont need tampons or pads.
They also shouldnt be a pary of abortion, miscarriage, pregnancy, breastfeeding talks…
But its hateful now to not include them.
We need observe the difference between sex and gender and trans activists totally mix them up.
Trans people and trans activists are different groups. Ive never met a binary trans individual that thinks they changed their sex. Otherwise transitioning would have been pointless.
You cant change the gametes you produce…
And transitioning children rids them of their ability to orgasm or reproduce biologically which is a human right. Its basically pedophilia unfortunatly.