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Palm Coast Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 1 month ago

LETTERS: Flagler should join other districts, protect trans students’ rights

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'Due to the antiquated view of our current School Board, we are no longer courageous, innovative leaders here,' Randy Bertrand writes.
by: Guest Writer

Flagler should join other districts, protect trans students’ rights

Dear Editor:

In 1970, 16 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, Flagler County Schools became part of the last wave of Florida schools to desegregate schools and one of the last to integrate in the nation. 

This is a sad and embarrassing part of this county’s history. Our county was a reluctant follower then, and I fear this reluctance continues, albeit there is no landmark Supreme Court decision to compel Board action. At least, not yet.

Over the weekend, I decided to conduct a little research into Florida school districts and determine which ones have language in at least one district policy that specifically addresses gender identity, transgender status, or gender expression. 

I would like to share the results of this research with the citizens of Flagler County.

Out of the 67 counties surveyed, 36 have at least one policy that specifically protects students either based on gender identity, transgender status, or gender expression. That equals 54% of all Florida School districts. 

When you adjust for student population, that percentage climbs to 83%. This data was extracted from the official websites at each of the 67 districts and from the FLDOE website on student enrollment for 2019-2020 school year (available at www.fldoe.org).  

Sadly, our School Board is bound and determined to make our county repeat history. I urge citizens to not allow this to happen again. 

The Flagler School District vision begins with, “As a courageous, innovative leader in education…” Due to the antiquated view of our current School Board, we are no longer courageous, innovative leaders here. Unfortunately, our youth will be paying the price of this outdated thinking.

Randy Bertrand

Palm Coast

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