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I would like to applaud the Westford School Committee for continuing to support transgender students in our schools. Not only did they commit to continuing the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Student policy they unanimously approved in October 2017, but they voted in support of Yes on ballot question #3 to uphold dignity and respect for transgender people in Massachusetts.
In passing School Committee member Chris Sander’s motion, this town committee sent a message – loud and clear – to transgender students that they support them, be it on school grounds, at the mall, at the movie theater, or anywhere else they may go.
Transgender youth continue to face mistreatment and bullying, and repealing our state’s protections puts them at an even greater risk of harassment, discrimination, and violence. Living in constant fear impacts not just their ability to learn and participate in classes and extra-curricular activities; it also puts these youths at risk of anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
By stating acceptance of transgender students, the School Committee is sending a strong message to the town, its students, and its residents that they support transgender people and will help them in any way possible.
I can only hope the rest of Massachusetts can be as accepting as our school committee. Please Vote Yes on Question #3 on Nov. 6. — Ilene Tatroe, Westford, MA
Editor’s note: A Yes vote on ballot question #3 would keep in place an existing law, which prohibits discrimination of transgender people in public restrooms and other areas of accommodation. A No vote would repeal the law.