Major Inclusivity focus at the start of the year

Faith Juelsgaard, Staff Reporter

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Is this matter the talk of the town for Treynor? Everyone has heard about the focus on inclusivity for LGBTQ students that’s being talked about, but what does it mean to them and the future of the Treynor Community School District? For starters, it means a lot of changes to come; it also means a lot of legal matters.

There are three main topics that have been discussed with the student body. The first topic being policies and laws. “The Iowa department of education makes the rules not me, I can’t stress that enough,” High School Principal Gary McNeal said.

 

In Title IX, Iowa Code Section 216.9 clearly states the lines of discriminatory acts and includes education on gender identity. These laws state that the LGBTQ community cannot be discriminated against. They are allowed to use the facilities they identify with, confidentiality is required unless otherwise stated, a student can play in the sport that they identify in, students are allowed to dress as they identify, and pronouns and name changes are to be followed as requested.  

 

McNeal said, “I want everyone to feel safe and comfortable and have their own privacy.”

The district wants to educate students that in the real world, there are so many more things they will encounter that they haven’t yet, and this is just one of those small things really.

 

“When everyone leaves this small town, they’ll see so much more diversity than this,” school counselor Rita Laughlin said.

 

No matter if the students agree with this or not, it comes down to respect according to Laughlin. They aren’t hurting anyone, so people shouldn’t hurt them either. “The main thing is respect; everyone needs to respect one another regardless of what they think” said Laughlin.

Education on this topic is an easy way people can take part in understanding everyone and everything that goes along with it. Many people may actually not know a lot about this topic and that’s why Treynor students have had a Card Pride presentation and an assembly. Although the assembly was optional, it was still a good choice to go and have questions answered.  In the future, Cardinals can expect more assemblies, meetings, and the use of Card Pride days to focus on education and inclusivity. The district is also sending several teachers to the Iowa Safe Schools Transgender Education Summit this month in an effort to educate staff.

Overall, this may be a somewhat controversial topic, but it’s happening and it’s happening right here in Treynor, Iowa, and Treynor is doing its best to educate the students on the legalities and issues involved.

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