The Daily Caller decried a southern California school district's agreement to accommodate transgender students, misidentifying the gender of the student whose complaint prompted the agreement and belittling the experiences of transgender individuals.
In a July 28 article, Daily Caller education editor Eric Owens lamented the trend toward increased acceptance of transgender students, highlighting the case of a suburban Los Angeles school district where a transgender male successfully pushed the schools to allow transgender students to use facilities like restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities:
It's all the rage these days for transgender students (or their parents) to sue or make a big fuss because their genitalia doesn't match the bathrooms and locker rooms they prefer to use.
The latest flare-up occurred in a quiet, expensive suburb northeast of Los Angeles. The Arcadia Unified School District in Arcadia, Calif. finalized an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to terminate a Title IX investigation into allegations of discrimination against a transgender middle schooler, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The agreement resolves a complaint pressed by the Department of Education and filed on behalf of an unnamed student who was born female but wants to be a male.
As Owens noted, the Arcadia agreement follows a spate of other cases in which education officials have pursued policy changes geared toward accommodating transgender students. He cited Coy Mathis, a female student in Colorado born biologically male, whose family's complaint led to a ruling from the Colorado Civil Rights Division that not allowing transgender students to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identities constitutes illegal discrimination. Owens referred to Mathis as someone who “was born biologically male but wears girls' clothes all the time.”
Owens also used a masculine pronoun to refer to Alex Wilson, a transgender female student in Florida who lodged a complaint similar to the one filed by the Mathis family.
Owens devoted special attention to Massachusetts, owing to the state's strong protections for transgender students. Owens dubbed the state a “transgender hotbed” due to its robust, pro-transgender guidelines issued earlier this year by the Massachusetts Department of Education. As the Associated Press reported in February, the guidelines permit transgender students to use restrooms and play on sports teams that match their gender identities. The guidelines also reinforce basic principles of respect by stating that transgender students must be referred to according to their gender identity.
To transphobic media outlets, such protections represent political correctness run amok. But as the Massachusetts guidelines noted, transgender students, “because of widespread misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about their lives, are at a higher risk for peer ostracism, victimization, and bullying.” While policies affirming transgender students' rights seek to correct such problems, the transphobic coverage of outlets like The Daily Caller and Fox News only exacerbates them.