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"I've informed Mr. No-Backbone that this school doesn't seem to be a good fit for me."

Being an educator in Oklahoma can sometimes be exactly how you'd expect it to be. Allow me to elaborate. I have a student born "Dylan" who is now "Delilah." (names changed, obviously.) Delilah's parents, myself, and the building administrators had a meeting to discuss how to best support Delilah through this time of transition. Delilah's parents are lovingly supporting her. They are doing extensive research on transgenderism to help better understand how to support Delilah. They always knew Delilah felt different but they admittedly were not prepared when she boldly made the decision to be Delilah. However, they support her 100%. At the meeting, we all decided to allow Delilah to be herself and do what makes her comfortable. (Duh.)

I stood with Delilah as she spoke to the class about how she'd like to identify from this point forward. She was happy. The kid's were accepting of Delilah. No problems whatsoever! All was well.

Later, we had a field trip wherein parental chaperons were present and met Delilah. The same week, parents joined our class for our fall party. This is when the complaints began.

One of my students informed me of their mom calling the Principal to complain about having to call Dylan a girl. The parent stated students did not have a legal obligation to call Delilah by her preferred name. The same parent told their child not to use Delilah's preferred pronouns or name. The student shared with me that she didn't want to hurt Delilah's feelings by not supporting who she is. (Can you believe the innocent mindset of a 9 year old? She knows how to show unconditional kindness to others. I beg the world to not steal that from her.)

Not-so coincidentally later that day, I received an email from my Principal stating he was "reflecting" on Delilah's transition. (Just tell me the parent called to complain. Admit you are okay with appeasing the complaining parent at the expense of Delilah.) The email stated I should no longer correct students when they misgender Delilah. (Um, excuse me, what? That actually sounds like the very opposite of what we told Delilah's parents we would do.) I'm committed to supporting all students and making sure they know they are valued for who they are. My correcting students when they misgender Delilah is not to make them feel wrong but to show Delilah I am in support of who she is.

Is there a reason for the refusal of using one's preferred pronouns other than hatred. Why is one so persistent on forcing someone to be who they are not? They've lived as that person. They are now ready to be who they were meant to be. Stop telling people to deny who they are because you cannot understand the ability to be one's true self.

Needless to say, Delilah will be referred to by her proper pronouns in my classroom. If that's a problem, then fire me. I've already let Mr. No-Backbone know this school doesn't seem to be a good fit for me. While I'm here, my mission is to be my student's biggest supporter and to cheer them on to success.


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