School shows its transphobia

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School shows its transphobia

PostPosted by verdilak » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:41 am

Oak Reed was a write-in candidate for homecoming king who won with a majority of the votes. The school administration took away his crown, saying that since Oak is biologically female, he isn't eligible to win the title. Well, his classmates didn't like that and set up a facebook page boycotting it:

Oak Reed received the most votes for homecoming King. Period. Our school not only lied to students, but they also promoted transphobia. As students, we must stand up to assert the rights of Oak, and transgendered students everywhere.

After the craziness of Homecoming is over, students are encouraged to wear "Oak is my King" t-shirts on October 1st. Either make one yourself or ask for the design at the t-shirt at JP Imprints at 3100 Henry Street (right across the street from Handsome Henry).

The support from around the country and the world has been amazing. An account is being worked out to make t-shirts available internationally with proceeds benefiting Oak's surgery.

I encourage all to write letters not only to our school paper, but to the chronicle as well.

And AOL News ran the story wrote:(Sept. 30) -- Teens in Michigan couldn't get a transgender student elected homecoming king by playing by the books -- so they turned to Facebook.

After school officials at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon barred transgendered student Oak Reed

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(Sept. 30) -- Teens in Michigan couldn't get a transgender student elected homecoming king by playing by the books -- so they turned to Facebook.

After school officials at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon barred transgendered student Oak Reed from becoming homecoming king because he was born Oakleigh Marie Reed, a girl, students used social media to generate a swell of news coverage resulting in stories on the station Wood 8, front-page articles on and now, of course, AOL News.

A large factor in the local story becoming a global sensation has been the "Oak Is My King" Facebook group, started by student Nick Schrier.

"We went from around 100 members to over 5,000 in 24 hours," Schrier told AOL News.

At the time of publication, the figure now stands at more than 7,600.

Schrier was floored by the attention his group has gotten.

"We have followers from all over the nation. ... The world, actually."

Looking through some of the profiles of the people who have joined the "Oak Is My King" group reveals supporters from across the United States, China, Brazil, Japan, Australia and more than enough of Europe to bring sweeping changes to the EC.

The Facebook group has won admirers from all over the world, including Gregory Hatt, founder of Protest for Peace, a Grand Rapids, Mich., grassroots organization that aims to be "actively involved in issues in the community" by organizing peaceful public demonstrations.

"It's really impressive to see someone so young doing something so positive," Hatt said. "We're teaming up with Schrier and helping to bring awareness to this cause."

Supporters of the push to make Reed homecoming king are holding a public demonstration Friday, at which attendees are encouraged to wear "Oak Is My King" shirts.

According to Schrier and other students, the outrage didn't stem from Reed's failure to win th e title of homecoming king. Instead, he says, students are angry because when the results were announced, Reed's name didn't even appear among the list of candidates.

Schrier and his fellow students just want the school to recognize their desire to name Reed homecoming king.

"Everyone voted for Oak," Schrier said. "He was a write-in candidate. There was a huge movement to make him our homecoming king. When the announcement was made and his name didn't even appear in the results, we were all angry."

Multiple requests for comment from faculty and staff at Mona Shores High School were not returned by AOL News deadlines.

"I'm not allowed to even talk about it," explained David Walls, dean of students.

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Though students have been critical of the school's decision to exclude Reed from the homecoming results, Schrier says he is only protesting because he loves Mona Shores High School.

"I love my school," he said. "I respect my school.

"I really want to stress, we do have respect for our school. The last thing we want is anything illegal or harmful to be done in the name of this cause. But [Mona Shores] needs to know that the world does not support this decision."

Since homecoming has already passed, students have kicked off a movement to name Reed as student of the month at Mona Shores High School.

"We'd like to see [Reed] honored for the character and bravery he has displayed," Hatt said.

As did NPR Member station in Michigan wrote:ANN ARBOR, MI (Michigan Radio) - Students say Oak Reed received the most votes and should be honored as homecoming king.

Administrators say Reed was ineligible because he is officially enrolled as a female.

Jay Kaplan is an attorney for the ACLU. He says most schools in Michigan do not have non-discrimination policies that address the issue of gender identity.

"The school has done other things. They've allowed him to wear a male tux for his band uniform, wear a male robe and cape for graduation and the school uses male pronouns. It sounds like they have shown some sensitivity. The idea that because this person was not biologically born male excludes him, that's somewhat problematic."

State civil rights laws don't address gender identity but several school districts across Michigan have policies that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender expression.

Kaplan says it is unclear whether the school has broken any nondiscrimination laws.

"This certainly raises some concerns. I think the school district needs to look at the decision that they made because there is nothing in Michigan that legally defines what a person's gender is. There are certainly transgender adults who present themselves according to their gender identity and they are treated and regarded according to their gender identity."

The ACLU is considering taking up the case pending Reed's approval.

So, first we have the lesbian who couldn't take her date to a prom and now a guy who won the majority of his peer's votes in being homecoming king (as well as, obviously, getting their approval as being a boy) cannot get what his peers wanted to award him due to being genetically a girl? The things that happen in this country sometimes, well rather regularly, make me want to leave it and never look back.
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