In a unanimous decision, a council of Association Representatives for the Jefferson County Education Association voted to support Transgender Day of Visibility at their March 12th meeting. The official day falls over Spring Break on March 31st, so educators that would like to support transgender community members in Jefferson County will take action on April 2nd by wearing buttons.
“It’s part of our responsibility to engage with distinct students, for every student is distinct. All of our students deserve visibility. Go back to teaching theory—we all thrive in an environment of acceptance, and we will know we have succeeded when there isn’t a need to wear a button. When it doesn’t matter anymore, we will know that there is wide acceptance. This visibility day will also allow our teachers, administrators, and all staff the room to be a little more courageous and a little more accepting without risk of backlash from anyone. All kids need confident caregivers, right? My union is all about diversity, not monoculture. We will stand against transphobia, and all other phobias that push our students and our teachers into the corners, and into the shadows.” Frank Reetz, educator at West Jefferson Middle School said speaking to the motion made at the Council meeting.
Bear Creek Social Studies teacher, Angela Anderson said, “In the course of my work, I have been to several conferences, workshops, and trainings where I have been asked to introduce myself with my pronouns. When I saw the opportunity to include my pronouns on name tags I never chose to add them, but what I didn’t realize until I was talking to another colleague is that was my privilege; I never needed to take action and add my pronouns, but other people didn’t have that same experience. By not participating, I was further isolating people that already didn’t feel seen.”
JCEA will provide buttons to individuals and schools who would like to choose to wear buttons to celebrate transgender people. You can sign up here if you would like to get a button to participate in Transgender Day of Visibility on April 2.