For Discussion: Are School Officials Bullying Transgender High School Student By Refusing To Read ‘His’ Boy Name At Graduation?

- By Bossip Staff

Times are changing and these schools need to change with the times — don’t they?

Via NYDailyNews reports:

A transgender student in Pennsylvania who identifies as male wants the name he uses — Issak Wolfe — to be read aloud when he receives his diploma at graduation.

The 18-year-old senior at Red Lion Area High School in York County pleaded his case at Thursday’s school board meeting. He handed over a petition with 2,000 signatures and was joined by a packed room of supporters wearing stickers that read, “His name is Issak.”

“Reading my male name at graduation wouldn’t hurt anyone, but they know that reading my female name only serves to hurt me more,” said Wolfe, who was born a female named Sierra Stambaugh but has identified as a male for more than two years. “Obviously, it’s more important to them to push around an 18-year-old than it is to make the school a safe space for its students.”

Officials with the Red Lion Area School District said they will continue reviewing the policy, although school board solicitor Ben Pratt argued a diploma is a legal document and must bear the recipient’s legal name.

“The position has always been to read the legal name,” Pratt said. “We don’t do nicknames or alternate names.”

The name Wolfe is an old family name and what he would have been called if he had been born a male, the teen said.

Wolfe and his mother, April Billet-Barclay, pointed out that Wolfe is not asking to have his diploma altered with his male name — though he is in the process of legally changing it — but only to be announced by his chosen male name at graduation.

As the June 7 graduation date approaches, Wolfe was able to win at least one concession: He can put on a boy’s black graduation gown instead of a yellow one that girls must wear.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Wolfe, said that it’s not about the diploma but for Wolfe to be recognized for who he is.

The teen said he already felt humilated last month when the school ignored his wishes to be listed on the ballot for prom king and instead used his legal name for prom queen, reported NBC affiliate WCAU-TV.

“I’ve never gotten too much trouble from other students about who I am,” Wolfe told the school board Thursday. “But when Principal (Mark) Shue listed me under my old name on the prom queen ballot, it was the most humiliating and demeaning thing that has ever happened to me at school.”

Do you agree with Isaak? Or do you see the school board’s point?


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