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  • Bangor Daily News

    Maine school district begins reversing transgender protections

    By Charles Eichacker,


    A school district based in Union took an initial vote Thursday night to reverse protections for transgender students, despite many members of the public opposing the change.

    The board of Regional School Unit 40 voted 8-7 to remove the policy, in front of a crowd of 150 people and after three hours of comments by about 50 of the attendees, according to the Courier-Gazette .

    The speakers included parents, school staff and transgender students, with most of them defending the existing policy, the Gazette reported. The proposal will require another vote on June 6.

    Among other things, the current policy requires staff to avoid disclosing a student’s transgender status within the school if the student wants it kept private. It also requires the school community to identify students by their preferred name and pronouns, even if they have not legally changed them, and it allows students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that most closely match the gender identity they assert in school.

    At least two school board members spoke against the policy before voting to delete it, according to the Gazette. One of them argued it does not allow parents enough involvement in their children’s schooling, and another expressed concern about the bathroom policy.

    Defenders of the policy, including Superintendent Steve Nolan, said removing it would lead to confusion and signal that the district does not support the LGBTQ community, according to the Gazette.

    RSU 40 includes the towns of Union, Washington, Warren, Friendship and Waldoboro.

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