Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

January 18, 2018

LGBT Art Display at Newman U. Invited then Cancelled When Catholics Objected

{Im going to post it and let you be the judge of it...Adam}

Centuries had some catholics see gays only for two things on the church, sex and the chorus

WICHITA, Kan. ( - Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, is welcoming a pro-LGBT artist to display her work in a special event on campus.
The display is titled "Rainbow in Reverse: Queer Kansas History." It features sculptures and photographs celebrating prominent members of the LGBT community in Kansas. 
In an email drawing attention to the scandal, Catholic author Jean M. Heimann wrote, "First of all, why is it necessary to expose students to evil? Why do students need to be encouraged to learn more about a sickness in our society?"
As of Tuesday, the university has canceled the controversial exhibition.
 Free clip from CHURCH MILITANT Premium
Heimann invited fellow Catholics to write to Newman University voicing their distaste.
She also linked to a previous email thread between a concerned Catholic and a university spokesperson. The spokeswoman had written, "As a university, we understand that diverse perspectives are key to learning, and at Newman, we seek to provide an atmosphere of deeper understanding and appreciation of Catholic teaching, in [which] the human dignity of each person is respected."
Heimann's email asked rhetorically, "Why, instead, don't they have an exhibition of holy and beautiful artwork which represents the treasures of the Church?"
First of all, why is it necessary to expose students to evil?Tweet
While the exhibit has reportedly been canceled, Catholics are still concerned by the fact that the university has an official LGBT student club.
Ruben Lerma, a student at Newman, gave a speech and wrote an article in the student newspaper in 2016 calling on administrators to accommodate openly gay students. 

In spring of 2017, the university gave him what he wanted. A university committee met and established guidelines for the creation of an LGBT organization.
"Catholic" heterodox, pro-gay group New Ways Ministry celebrated the move at the time.
The committee in 2017 wanted to create the club but did not want to openly contradict the Catholic Church's teaching. The committee members played a balancing act.
They decided to imitate the pro-gay club at Notre Dame University, which gives lip service to the Church's teachings on chastity, even though some of its members dissent against Natural Law.
The local news,  The Wichita Eagle, reported in April 2017, "The Notre Dame-type model included language that emphasizes that the club cannot contradict the Catholic view that LGBT students should be "chaste" because sex is condoned only in marriage between a man and a woman."
The report by New Ways Ministry complained, "The plan, unfortunately, reveals the compromises which LGBT students are often required to make in more conservative Catholic environments."

September 30, 2017

Melanie Trump's Donation of Books Was Returned "Thank you but Not for Our School"

A Rich woman like her husband and the woman in charge of school education Betsy Devos, have with no idea of who needs what in this country. A hand Me down is a hand me down,  maybe she thought.  People, all people love free stuff. No, she was wrong.

Some people have scruples and know what they have and what they need.  They don't mean to take what they already have but others need. The thing is she was not always rich nor American nor spoke english. I guess she put all that stuff behind her. As for Betsy DeVos, she has no experience in teaching or books except the one she's read. For the first time in this country we have a Billionaire President who lives in his own made up world who has surrounded himself with a staff of also rich people like him who gave out those positions like if they were thank you cards for the money they contributed to his campaign for president.

A school librarian has kicked the First Lady out.

Just like Sam from Green Eggs and Ham before her, Boston school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro took one look at the Dr. Seuss books Melania Trump donated to her school, and decided she "would not like them here or there."

The First Lady's office declared on Sept. 6 that Trump would donate Dr. Seuss books to schools across America that had been recognized for education excellence to celebrate National Read a Book day. Cambridgeport Elementary School was on the list, but the book slinger in charge there took issue with the gesture for two reasons — she didn't need free books, and they weren't right.
As Liz Phipps Soeiro put it in a a blog post, there were schools that needed books and hers wasn't one of them:

"School libraries around the country are being shuttered," Soeiro wrote. "Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?"

There was more. Soeiro also wrote she found Dr. Seuss "a bit of a cliche," writing the late author's illustrations are "steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes."

She then drove home her point recommending stories she said illustrate the Trump Administration's impact on children like Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation, and Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation instead of The Cat in the Hat and Oh the Places You Will Go.

She even issued a plea for the First Lady and the President. "You and your husband have a direct impact on these children’s lives. Please make time to learn about and value them," Soeiro wrote.
In response, The First Lady's office said that the librarian's decision was "unfortunate":

"Mrs. Trump intends to use her platform as First Lady to help as many children as she can. She has demonstrated this in both actions and words since her husband took office, and sending books to schools across the country is but one example," her spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to Fortune.

 "Turning the gesture of sending young school children books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the First Lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere."


UPDATE: Melania had this Librarian Dismissed:

By now, you’ve likely heard about the Cambridge school librarian and her open letter to Melania Trump. The First Lady had committed the act of sending the school 10 free Dr. Seuss books, in honor of National Read a Book Day. The librarian published a blog post rejecting the gift — it should go to needier schools, she wrote — and trashing Dr. Seuss for good measure, on the grounds of being “a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature” who is also “a bit of a cliché,” and … wait for it … “steeped in racist propaganda.”

It’s such luscious Cantabridgian self-parody that picking it apart feels almost too easy. As most preschoolers are taught, the proper response, when presented with a gift you don’t want, is “thank you,” with no further commentary. And dismissing Dr. Seuss’s entire body of work as racist? “The Sneetches,” published in 1961, is the foundational text for teaching the perils of prejudice. (If you don’t believe me, ask Barack Obama.)

The Cambridge schools have already taken care of scolding the librarian. Now, we’re left to consider the sadder part of this story: why it’s so easy, these days, for smart people to lose all sense of perspective. Because this librarian is hardly alone. In an age of outrage, tribal warfare, and proudly-proclaimed resistance, we’ve lost something big: The ability to call them as we see them.

August 27, 2017

The Worse Anti Gay Colleges in the US and the Least Hostile

 College of the Ozarks, One of the most anti-gay colleges. It is small and religion based.

College of the Ozarks was ranked No. 1 on a national publication's list of colleges "most hostile" to LGBT students.
The private Christian campus in Point Lookout was the only Missouri institution included on the Top 20 list, part of the Princeton Review's 2018 edition of the Best 382 Colleges. It is a reference guide for prospective college students.
"We are a Christian institution and we are very clear about that," said Valorie Coleman, public relations director for the 1,500-student college. "That is who we are. We are a religious institution that adheres to a Christian world view."
Coleman said the college was aware of the ranking and while it would not have chosen the adjective "hostile," its lack of tolerance for sexual immorality is well-documented in the policies on its website.
"We are pretty transparent about it," she said. "We are very open to anyone seeking admission here."
The college's lifestyle and sexuality policy, which is part of the handbook, states that "human sexuality is a gift from God" and that "sex assigned at birth is a person's God-given, objective gender, whether or not it differs from their internal sense of 'gender identity.'"
According to the policy, students and employees face disciplinary action — including dismissal — for "gender expression inconsistent with sex assigned at birth," gender transition, sexual relations with a person of the same sex or a person other than his or her spouse, possession of pornographic materials, and "touching, caressing and other physical conduct of a sexual nature" with a person of the same gender.
The college dubbed "Hard Work U" allows students to work on campus while enrolled so they graduate without any debt. 
Coleman encouraged prospective students to visit campus and read the policies to see if the college is the "right fit" before applying.
In the 2018 publication from the Princeton Review, the College of the Ozarks was also included among the best regional colleges in the Midwest. The college made a string of Top 10 lists including most conservative, most religious, and most intolerant of drugs and alcohol.
The college was ranked No. 2 on the list of "Stone-Cold Sober Schools."
According to the publication, the rankings were based on reviewing college data and survey results from 137,000 students.
Responses to the survey question "Students treat all persons equally, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity" served as the basis for the Top 20 colleges most and least hostile to LGBT students.
On the most hostile list, the only other regional institution included was The University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, which was No. 15.
The Top 10 most hostile to LGBT students included:
  • 10. University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa
  • 9. Hillsdale College (Michigan)
  • 8. Hampden-Sydney College (Virginia)
  • 7. Baylor University (Texas)
  • 6. Grove City College (Pennsylvania)
  • 5. University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • 4. Brigham Young (Utah)
  • 3. Gordon College (Massachusetts) 
  • 2. Auburn University (Alabama)
  • 1. College of the Ozarks
No colleges from Missouri or Arkansas appeared on the list of Top 20 colleges that are most friendly to LGBT students. Here is the Top 10 list of least hostile colleges:
  • 10. Grinnell College (Iowa)
  • 9. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Massachusetts)
  • 8. Vassar College (New York)
  • 7. Agnes Scott College (Georgia)
  • 6. Sarah Lawrence College (New York)
  • 5. Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts)
  • 4. Warren Wilson College (North Carolina)
  • 3. Emerson College (Boston)
  • 2. College of the Atlantic (Maine)
  • 1. Bryn Mawr College (Pennsylvania)

Other rankings

College of the Ozarks announced Friday that it also received top honors by Forbes and Money Magazine.
Forbes has ranked College of the Ozarks as No. 1 of the Top 25 Low-Debt Private Colleges 2017.
College of the Ozarks is ranked within the 650 Top Colleges in the Nation, coming in at No. 235.
Money Magazine ranked College of the Ozarks as the No. 1 College in Missouri on their list, The Best Colleges in Every State. 

July 7, 2017

Anti Gay, Anti Dept of Ed but Secretary of Ed. Betsy DeVos Sued by 16 Sates

Attorneys general from Massachusetts, New York and 16 other states filed suit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her department Thursday, accusing DeVos of breaking federal law and giving free rein to for-profit colleges by rescinding the Borrower Defense Rule.
The filing by 18 states and Washington, D.C., asks a U.S. District Court to declare the Education Department's delay of the rule unlawful and to order the agency to implement it. The states say they have pursued "numerous costly and time-intensive investigations and enforcement actions against proprietary and for-profit schools" that violated consumer protection laws.
The Borrower Defense Rule was adopted by the Obama administration last November and had been set to take effect this month. It was created to make it "simpler for students at colleges found to be fraudulent to get their loans forgiven," as NPR's Ed team has reported.
Large amounts of money are potentially at stake. As the states' complaint notes, "taxpayers invested $32 billion in for-profit schools in the 2009-10 academic year, more than the annual budget of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of State during that time period."
The rule was put on hold in June, less than one month after DeVos said her agency would re-evaluate it. The states say DeVos moved too quickly to quash the rule and did so without public comment, particularly compared with the rule's genesis in public hearings that began in September 2015.
DeVos called her move a "regulatory reset" when she announced that the Department of Education would convene new public hearings on the rule that are scheduled to be held next week. The secretary said the rule-making process had "missed an opportunity to get it right" and created "a muddled process."
The states in the new federal complaint disagree, saying that DeVos is trying to use a lawsuit filed by the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools, a trade organization, as "a pretext" to avoid legal requirements for a federal notice and comment period.
"Since Day 1, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans," Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a news release about Thursday's court filing. "Her decision to cancel vital protections for students and taxpayers is a betrayal of her office's responsibility and a violation of federal law. We call on Secretary DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education to restore these rules immediately."
The Borrower Defense Rule was negotiated after two large for-profit chains — Corinthian Colleges and the ITT Technical Institute — shut down hundreds of campuses following regulatory crackdowns in recent years. The rule would allow borrowers to have their loans forgiven if a state has successfully taken action against a for-profit school.
"Nearly 16,000 borrower defense claims are currently being processed," the Education Department said last month. Despite the postponement, DeVos said, "promises made to students under the current rule will be promises kept." She added, "Some borrowers should expect to obtain discharges within the next several weeks."
In addition to providing relief for students, the rule would also empower the Department of Education to seek money from schools where loans were forgiven.
"For-profit schools receive the vast majority of their revenue from the federal government in the form of federal student loans and grants," the civil complaint notes. "In 2009, the 15 publicly traded for-profit education companies received 86 percent of their revenues from taxpayer-funded loans."
The attorneys general who filed the lawsuit are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
"These rules served as critical protections against predatory for-profit schools that exploit hardworking students — students who are simply trying to invest in their own education and future," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He added, "When Washington abdicates its responsibility to protect New Yorkers, we won't hesitate to step in."

June 17, 2017

DeVos,Dept. Ed Secretary Invites Anti LGBT Groups to Family Panel

The Education Department invited representatives from two anti-LGBT groups to speak on a panel on Thursday, a move that prompted the National Parent Teacher Association to pull out of the daylong "Engaging Fathers and Families" event.
Representatives from the Evangelical groups Focus on the Family and Family Research Council — which advocate for gay conversion therapy — both spoke at the event, according to a copy of the agenda obtained by BuzzFeed News, on the topic of "Family Engagement in Faith-based Organizations." The agenda was first reported by Politico.
The National PTA, which has 4 million members nationwide, said it withdrew from the event after it learned of the two groups' participation, saying in a statement that they were "not in alignment" with the PTA's stance on protecting gay youth.
The event on Thursday, which was hosted ahead of Father's Day, included several high-level officials, including Acting Under Secretary of Education Jim Manning, and the head of elementary and secondary education.
Although the event was live streamed, no agenda was made publicly available in advance.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did not attend the event, according to the agenda. She has said publicly that she "supports equality" and has "always" been opposed to gay conversion therapy, but under her watch, the department has come under fire for several stances that advocates say harm gay children. Along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, DeVos has rescinded protections for transgender children that were put in place by the Education and Justice departments under Barack Obama.
Members of DeVos's extended family are among the biggest donors to both Focus on the Family and FRC, having given millions of dollars over the course of the past decade.
On its website, FRC warns of the danger of allowing gays to raise children. It has falsely claimed that gay men are more likely to sexually abuse children in their care.
The Education Department did not respond to requests for comment.

BuzzFeed News

May 11, 2017

Jesuit School Sides with LGBT Against Homophobic Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-a in town
jcarillet | Getty Images 
The P.C. police at a university in New York have successfully deprived students of access to a popular fried chicken for all the reasons you’ve already heard before — this time at a college that is Catholic.
According to the Fordham University student paper, The Fordham Observer, and further reported by The College Fix’s Rebecca Downs, the decision to decline a proposal to open a Chick-fil-A on campus came late last month after backlash from students at the Jesuit institution who smeared the corporation as anti-gay.
The student groups that were consulted in responding to the proposal were the United Student Government (USG), the Commuter Students Association (CSA), the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Rainbow Alliance [a student LGBT group].
The Rainbow Alliance was consulted in the decision-making process because of a controversy regarding Chick-Fil-A’s stance on LGBTQ issues that has been stirred up to varying degrees since 2012. That year, the family that owns the fast food chain made public statements against marriage equality, a stance backed up by several million dollars in donations they have made over the years to organizations working actively against same-sex marriage. When the chain opened their first location in New York in 2015, they faced protests on the issue.
Representatives from Chi[c]k-Fil-A offered to collaboratively run unspecified programming with the Rainbow Alliance in conjunction with the rollout of a venue on campus. Due to continued concerns regarding this issue, however, the Rainbow Alliance unanimously voted against the proposal. Several students independently reached out to USG to voice their concerns, according to then-USG president Leighton Magoon, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17.
“If they want to bring in Chick-Fil-A, they can bring in Chick-Fil-A,” Rainbow Alliance Co-President Renata Francesco told the paper. “But we’re not going to partner with an institution, a corporation that has so strongly supported other institutions that work to destabilize and demolish movements for queer equity.” 

Parts of this page originally posted on

April 8, 2017

Notre Dame Giving Highest Honor in Rabidly Anti Gay/Women Priest


The University of Notre Dame will award its highest honor to a priest who has openly dissented from Church teaching on homosexual “marriage,” women “priests” and worthiness to receive Holy Communion.
Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle will be this year’s Laetare Medal recipient, the university announced recently.
Father Boyle is renowned for his decades-long work with incarcerated and gang-involved individuals. He will be given the award at the university’s May 21 commencement ceremony.
Father Boyle criticized the U.S. Bishops’ opposition to homosexual “marriage” in a 2010 interview during the debate over California’s Proposition 8 referendum banning same-sex “marriage.” He further described opposition to gay “marriage” as “demonizing people.”
He also stated in the interview that the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination was “shameful, “nonsense” and not “honest.” And the priest said those opposed to women’s ordination were “frightened that women will be ordained.”
He also mocked Church teaching on reception of the Eucharist for individuals married outside the Church in the broadly publicized television interview.
The Laetare Medal is not only the highest honor Notre Dame bestows, according to the university, but also the highest honor American Catholics can receive.
The university website states the medal is “intended for a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.”
Catholic groups expressed dismay at the Laetare recipient decision.
The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) referenced the choice of Father Boyle in its news briefs as a scandal for the “dissenting priest” to be honored by Notre Dame. The news brief was also published on the Creative Minority Report blog. 
CNS asked supporters in an email, “What is the motivation behind Notre Dame’s honor to an unfaithful priest who has reportedly alleged that his 'own sad, tragic church' is 'just about power and privilege and secrecy and sometimes even a willful wandering away from Jesus and the living of the Gospel?'”
“Father Gregory Boyle’s good work with Los Angeles gangs is admirable,” CNS stated. “But how can a Catholic university ignore his public advocacy for same-sex marriage? Even Father Boyle has acknowledged that he doesn’t toe 'the party line' when he suggests that God disagrees with the Catholic Church.”
The Sycamore Trust, an alumni organization that works to protect Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, said in a statement, “After last year’s unsettling award of the Laetare Medal to Vice President Joe Biden despite his championship of abortion rights and same-sex marriage, one might have hoped for a respite this year. It was not to be.”
The choice to honor Biden last year drew significant criticism from pro-life facultystudents and outside groups.
Sycamore Trust clarified that it does not suggest that having at some time expressed disagreement with a significant Church teaching should automatically disqualify one for the Laetare Medal.
“Father Boyle displayed an utter contempt for the magisterium,” the Sycamore statement said. “He looks for truth elsewhere.”
Father Boyle’s admirable history of good works meets the award’s enrichment of humanity standard, it explained.
However, the group continued, “a Catholic priest who dissents from that teaching and is being honored for ‘illustrating the ideals of the Church,’ and thus the unstated but evident rephrasing to accommodate the honoring of Father Boyle is illustrated some ideals of the Church while ridiculing others.”
Notre Dame was the center of sustained widespread criticism for honoring former President Barack Obama as its 2009 commencement speaker.
The Notre Dame invite to Obama came despite his fervent support for abortion and homosexual “marriage” and his HHS mandate imposing employer-subsidized contraception, abortifacients, and abortion in U.S. healthcare.

February 28, 2017

Global Universities Supportive of LGBT

For her graduate studies, Thai national and transgender student Hua Boonyapisomparn chose Trinity Washington University in the U.S. Unsure how welcoming the campus was to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, she decided to visit the school to get a better feel for it.
Boonyapisomparn asked about the school's LGBT policies and whether transgender students are accepted. An admissions officer told her that "Trinity is a progressive campus," she says. 
Depending on the university and its location, LGBT international students may experience varying levels of acceptance and support on campus. Knowing what to expect can make the global university experience more enjoyable.
For prospective LGBT international students, here are three criteria to look for when researching global universities.
1. LGBT-friendly university webpages: Some global university websites have content welcoming LGBT students, with specific emphasis on international students. 
The University of Southern California's LGBT Resource Center website, for example, has a page dedicated to international LGBT students and provides links to its LGBT peer mentoring program, which is open to all students, and its monthly rainbow international lunches, opportunities to meet other LGBT international students.
At some universities, LGBT-friendly information can be found directly through the international student services webpage, such as at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, whose site includes a link to international LGBT support services in its resources section. 

 But just because a school may not have LGBT-devoted webpages doesn't mean students should write off the institution. Many schools, like Yale-National University of Singapore, have nondiscrimination polices on their websites promoting a safe environment for all students. 
"All Yale-NUS students, staff and faculty are valued as equal members of the community, and are not only free but also encouraged to express their singular and/or intersecting social and personal identities on campus," said Sara Pervaiz Amjad, intercultural engagement manager at Yale-NUS, via email.
Some Canadian universities approved a bylaw last fall ensuring their institutions' policies are nondiscriminatory.
Boonyapisomparn recommends prospective LGBT international students contact or visit global universities in person and inquire about their policies. She says Trinity does not discriminate against students based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
2. LGBT support services: Some universities have dedicated LGBT centers and staff to support students. Cardiff University in Wales, for example, offers a variety of support services to LGBT students and staff, earning the school a top rating in the "Gay By Degree 2015" guide by Stonewall, a United Kingdom-based LGBT rights charity. 
"We have an excellent counseling and well-being team that has someone specializing in gender identity and links to specific LGBT+ support," says Karen Cooke, organizational development manager and chair of the Enfys LGBT+ staff network at Cardiff.
Cooke says Cardiff has a number of staff in both the international and student services departments, including individuals who identify as LGBT, who are available to support and talk with LGBT international students. 
She says the school also works closely with its residences team "to provide support and training so that LGBT+ students can be supported in their time in university accommodations."
While some universities may not have dedicated LGBT support staff, available student support services can still be useful. National University of Singapore doctoral student Mukul Prasad, who has not yet come out to his family in India, says he used NUS' counseling services.
"I was depressed after a string of bad dating experiences," he says. "The counselor was really good, and I did tell him about my sexual orientation and it was kept confidential." 
Prasad says the school's "counseling services are excellent" and provide a support system for LGBT students at NUS. He calls the university "a rather safe space for us." 
3. Political activism and awareness: Prospective international students can also look to a university's student groups and related social media presence to gauge its LGBT activism, which can measure LGBT presence and advocacy on campus. 
Stefanie van Gelderen, marketing and communications adviser for international programs at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, said via email that the school supports and partly finances "student initiatives aimed at bringing together LGBT students." These include groups like the A.S.V.Gay student association and UvA Pride, a platform for LGBT students. Both groups are on Facebook. 
Canadian Ian Kenny, a gay grad student at the University of Amsterdam, says he chose the school and the Netherlands because both are open-minded and forward-thinking and that studying there "means getting involved with other like-minded people, whether on an activism side or in the classroom." 
Amjad of Yale-NUS said that student LGBT groups like The G Spot host events on campus "to raise awareness around issues of diversity as well as provide support" for LGBT students at Yale-NUS and NUS. For example, The G Spot, which has a Facebook presence, held an event last fall to raise awareness of living with HIV in Singapore.
Trinity student Boonyapisomparn says while the university currently has no LGBT clubs, having an "openly accepting environment is very critical for the success" of LGBT students. She says this is especially true for LGBT international students who also have to adjust to a new culture.
“You will need to feel welcome, no matter how you identify," says Boonyapisomparn.
Anayat Durrani  | Contributor

January 4, 2017

What Should LGBT Students Find In Store at Schools For 2017

As Education World reported in our look back at the top education stories of 2016, one of the biggest stories happened in May when the U.S. Department of Education and Justice released a joint guidance advising the country’s school districts to let students use school facilities according to gender identity, not gender at birth.

The guidance created immediate backlash and revealed a nation divided; while some states had already been in the process of creating lenient policies inclusive of students regardless of their gender identity, other states had been in the process of doing the exact opposite. North Carolina, for example, had just signed into law a sweeping and controversial bathroom ban that prevented transgender state residents from using the bathroom of their preferred gender in all public facilities— including schools.

The joint guidance clarified the Department’s stance on the matter, detailing "what we've said repeatedly—that gender identity is protected under Title IX. Educators want to do the right thing for students, and many have reached out to us for guidance on how to follow the law. We must ensure that our young people know that whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence," said Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. 
The guidance intended to end confusion by demanding all states immediately adhere to its stipulations or else suffer the loss of federal education funding.

Unfortunately, the confusion did not end there and instead more was arguably created. Almost immediately after the guidance was issued, nearly half of states united against the directive, suing the federal government for what they insisted was a deliberate act of overreach.

Several months later in August, a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a final blow to the validity of the guidance by ruling to put "on hold a groundbreaking court ruling requiring a Virginia school district to accommodate a transgender high school student's request to use the boys' bathroom," said Politico. The Supreme Court allowed the Virginia high school in question to continue denying preferred facility access to a transgender boy— until its justices can decide on the case for themselves this year.

According to USA Today, the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case means 2017 could very well be the year that the rights of transgender students in U.S. schools are clarified once and for all.

"The case is likely to be heard by April and decided by late June," USA Today said, with hope that a ninth justice is appointed by the time the case is heard.
As it stands, here is what current research indicates about the life of an LGBT student enrolled in a traditional U.S. school.

Just last month, a report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that LGBT students, particularly those living in restrictive states like Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Utah, are victims to constant bullying and harassment that is likely to interfere with their academic lives.

"Many schools censor discussions about LGBT topics, even as LGBT people and issues have become increasingly visible in public life. Eight US states restrict discussions of LGBT topics in schools, and some school districts in other states impose their own restrictions. These laws and policies send a strong signal to students that being LGBT is abnormal or wrong,” HRW said.

In September, a report from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) issued a report that found that only one-fifth of students reported being exposed to an inclusive LGBT-curriculum. It also found that the majority of schools analyzed did not have bullying prevention policies that focused on the bullying of students based on gender identity preference.

These findings are significant because studies have found that students who are exposed to inclusive curricula are more likely to succeed.

In 2009, a National School Climate Survey from GLSEN found students are less likely to miss school and therefore more likely to succeed when attending a school supportive of their identities.

In other words, the pending Supreme Court decision will have a big effect not only on the social climate in the U.S., but also on the lives of the individual LGBT students living and attending U.S. schools.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

November 5, 2016

Harvard Soccer Team Sidelined After Sexist Vulgar Emails

 Harvard Boston, Mass

The Harvard men's soccer team has been suspended for the remainder of the season after the school discovered the team had repeatedly written and circulated vulgar, sexually explicit "scouting reports" about new recruits on the women's team, in a practice that continued up to this year.

"The decision to cancel a season is serious and consequential," Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement Thursday. She wrote that "both the team's behavior and the failure to be forthcoming when initially questioned are completely unacceptable, have no place at Harvard, and run counter to the mutual respect that is a core value of our community."

Men's soccer coach Pieter Lehrer said the team was "beyond disappointed" to see the season end this way, but would respect the decision.

"Actions have consequences, and character counts," Lehrer said in a statement. "We accept responsibility for our actions, and I know that we will use the experience of this terribly unfortunate situation to be better."

The suspension follows a story by The Harvard Crimson, the university's student newspaper, revealing that in 2012, the soccer team had circulated a "scouting report" on the new freshman recruits for the women's soccer team.

The document — which appeared to be part of an annual tradition — described the female players in graphic, frequently degrading terms. It ranked their attractiveness with numerical values, assigned them sexual positions, theorized about their sexual behavior and described their physical attributes in terms that were variously crude and insulting.

After that story, Harvard ordered a review of the team's behavior. The review found that the "scouting report" was, indeed, a tradition.

"I understand that this practice appears to be more widespread across the team and has continued beyond 2012, including in 2016, and that current students who participated were not immediately forthcoming about their involvement," Athletics Director Bob Scalise wrote in an email to the student body on Thursday.

He said that "immediate and significant action is absolutely necessary."

The university has "zero tolerance" for such behavior, he wrote, and the team will be forfeiting its remaining games this season and will not participate in the Ivy League championship or the NCAA tournament.

"The decision brings to a sudden halt the season of a team that had a record of 10 wins, three losses and two ties, and was likely to win a championship berth if it won a scheduled Saturday game against Columbia University," Reuters reports.

We'll give the last word on this story to those players from the women's team who were described so graphically in the 2012 document uncovered by the Crimson.

Brooke Dickens, Kelsey Clayman, Alika Keene, Emily Mosbacher, Lauren Varela and Haley Washburn, the incoming recruits that year, wrote a response to the story that ran in the newspaper a few days later. It read in part:

"We do not pity ourselves. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. ...
"Having considered members of this team our close friends for the past four years, we are beyond hurt to realize these individuals could encourage, silently observe, or participate in this kind of behavior, and for more than four years have neglected to apologize until this week."
The women said they read their classmates' lewd and mocking words in their entirety and were "deeply hurt," but that they hoped this story would catalyze a change in culture. They concluded:

“Finally, to the men of Harvard Soccer and any future men who may lay claim to our bodies and choose to objectify us as sexual objects, in the words of one of us, we say together: 'I can offer you my forgiveness, which is — and forever will be — the only part of me that you can ever claim as yours.' "

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