Rice Lake School Board amends pronoun policy

by | Nov 1, 2022 | 0 comments

On Monday, October 10, the Rice Lake School Board voted 7–1 to amend a policy that previously had allowed for minors to change their names and pronouns at school without parental consent, now requiring a parent sign off before allowing such a change. “The debate mirrors rhetoric overtaking districts across the state and around the country,” according to wpr.org. 

Many parents have come forward, in this case and in others around the state, to argue that parents have a right to know and that the policy as it stood was a violation of their constitutional and sometimes religious liberty. WPR continues, “‘If I have a student coming to school that has issues like this, I would want to know that as a parent,’ said Kelly Sellers, a community member. ‘As a parent, I put a lot of time and a lot of money into my kid…and for parents not to have a right to know what’s going on with their child is totally wrong.’”

Atlas Counseling
Forward Fertility
DCHS - Foster
DCHS Wildlife Center
Quigley

But not all trans and queer kids have safe and supportive parents, and this policy will potentially out kids who do not want their families to know, putting those kids in danger, both of violence in the home from hateful family members, and also from self harm and suicide.

At a press conference outside the school board meeting, James Kiffmeyer, whose son identifies as transgender, stated, “I am a medical professional, and I want to start with a cold, hard, sobering fact. Data indicate that 82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40% have attempted suicide, and those risks are at their highest during their school years. That isn’t controversial information, it is very real and very deadly facts, which the school board must certainly be aware of. The Rice Lake School Board is wanting to limit the choices of these highly at-risk children.” He continued, “On the one hand, the child can choose to go by a gender they don’t believe applies to them, and use a name that doesn’t align with the gender they align with. And that misalignment can build in their mind, with the very possible result of dangerous outcomes involving self harm and even suicide.”

DCHS Wildlife Center
Forward Fertility
Quigley
DCHS - Foster
Atlas Counseling

Abbey Fischer, who identifies as a lesbian and was formerly on the Rice Lake School Board, had to step down recently because of the debate around trans issues. According to WPR, she said that the school board used to be more supportive of transgender students, but national policies have “reshaped the board in the past few years…and sentiment over LGBTQ+ policies has changed.” She asserted that the debate is much more than just informing parents of name changes, but, after a parent complaint resulted in a principal removing a welcoming sticker from a teacher’s door, ‘We as a district are telling our staff that they can’t respect the dignity of the human in front of them.’ Fischer said. ‘And that’s going to feel awful for our students, it’s going to feel awful for our staff, and creates a climate that is unsafe and unsupportive.’”

Share this Article

Article Tags

National Women\'s Music Festival
Rutabaga - Summer

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

National Women\'s Music Festival
Rutabaga - Summer

Latest News

Love Strikes

Love Strikes

GSAFE youth Bri Hudson on coming to terms with being a lesbian and adjusting to a new school.

Are You a Friend of Sandy Brown?

Are You a Friend of Sandy Brown?

Army veteran Sandy Brown is a former Vice President of PFLAG’s National Board and a recipient of the PFLAG Starr Award as well as the Door County’s Ann Kok Social Justice Award.

Delta Means Change

Delta Means Change

Delta Beer Lab has done their best to take the high road, as economic pressures challenge business to find a new way,
by making changes that still serve their mission and values.

Growing, Together

Growing, Together

After 25 years together, Pam Mehnert and Lisa Malmarowski reflect on the decades of LGBTQ setbacks and progress they’ve expereinced in Wisconsin.

Hard Work

Hard Work

Crossroads Community Farm organic farmer Cassie Wyss talks about becoming a farmer and a member of the LGBTQ community later in life.

Madison Queer Bike Ride

Madison Queer Bike Ride

Organizer Zach Johnson shares about a meetup in Madison’s Law Park. The ride specifically welcomes all bodies, including new or infrequent bikers, on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:00 (weather permitting).

Queer Climbing Social

Queer Climbing Social

Co-chair Becca Ridge (she/her) and Co-host SJ Hemmerich (they/them) on a monthly meetup at Boulders Climbing Gym’s two locations in Madison.

Latest News

VIEW ALL LATEST NEWS

DCHS - Foster
Atlas Counseling
DCHS Wildlife Center
Quigley
Forward Fertility

Events

SUBMIT AN EVENT

VIEW ALL EVENTS

Jobs

SUBMIT A JOB POSTING

VIEW ALL JOBS

Pin It on Pinterest