Why the Mount Horeb School Board pro-trans kids decision is a ‘big f*cking deal!’

mount horeb jazzLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Vice President (and trans ally) Joe Biden famous’ quote: “This is a big fucking deal” is most apt here, following a recent unanimous decision by a Mount Horeb, Wisconsin school board to adopt a pro-trans kids measure allowing access to restrooms, and sports, along with adding “transgender status” to the district’s nondiscrimination policy.

Backstory: It was only a few weeks ago that a principal planned a public reading in school of trans kid Jazz Jenning’s influential book “I Am Jazz.” However, he was ambushed by a hate-tsunami from the religious right triggered by noted hate group Liberty Counsel. Under threat of a federal lawsuit from them, school administrators cowed and quickly axed the reading.

The local community, however, got behind the lone trans student (name undisclosed) by holding a reading of “I Am Jazz” off campus at public library where 600 people showed up in support — an impressive outcome in itself.

Following that, the school board this week took action to counter the earlier hate-driven threats from Liberty Counsel by giving trans kids official protection and access they didn’t have prior that group appearing on the scene.

School board member Peter Strube: “Let the word go forth here and now that this board will stand united and we will not be intimidated, and we will teach tolerance and will be accepting to everyone.”


Wow, the Mount Horeb school board deserves wider recognition and kudos for standing up for trans kids in the face of direct threats from religious extremists. Other school boards have cowered, or faced divisions among themselves. Others responded only when ordered to do so by court order. There is no doubt pressure from hate groups and certain members of the community will continue at full force, but board members at Mount Horeb put kids ahead of everything else.

I wrote about the Mount Horeb book banning 2 weeks ago: https://lexiecannes.com/2015/11/28/religious-extremists-get-trans-kid-jazz-jennings-book-i-am-jazz-banned/

School board decision: http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2015/12/09/wisconsin-school-board-adds-trans-protections-after-canceled-i-am-jazz

Library reading of ‘I Am Jazz’: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/in-response-to-controversy-hundreds-pack-mount-horeb-library-for/article_095da109-0caf-534e-9879-3cb4e0c769ee.html

mount horeb jazz

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Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/

Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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21 replies

  1. Yahoo, Mount Horeb school board not only stood up to a hate group that has nothing better to do than attack children, but has shown the country that they are independent of the attacks and intimidation of a group of hate mongers.

  2. Thumbs up for the Mount Horeb school board.

  3. Cheers! Love does overcome hate. Thank you, Mount Horeb School Board!

  4. Zach Ford of ThinkProgress weighs in:


    “After the backlash over a transgender-inclusive children’s book, a Wisconsin school has countered the criticism by unanimously passing nondiscrimination protections for its transgender students this week.

    The Mount Horeb Area School District announced a few weeks ago that the Primary School now had a transgender student and classes would be reading I Am Jazz, a children’s book based on the real life experiences of teenage trans superstar Jazz Jennings. After the Liberty Counsel — infamous for its representation of embattled Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis — threatened a lawsuit on behalf of a few upset parents, the district canceled the reading.

    Jennings responded by applauding the school administrators and others in the community for trying to do right by the transgender student. “Growing up transgender can be a challenging experience,” she wrote, “and we need our parents, schools, and friends to stand by us so we can breathe easily. We want the same thing — to be who we are and feel safe and supported in this world.”

    Last week, the community countered by hosting a public reading of I Am Jazz. Nearly 600 people crammed into the Mount Horeb public library , including a 72-year-old who “came here to learn” and a 4-year-old eager to be friends with the transgender student, who she did not even know. I Am Jazz co-author Jessica Herthel even flew in to perform the reading. The event sent a clear message as to where the community stood.

    This week, the Mount Horeb School Board responded in turn, spending very little time debating new measures to accommodate transgender students throughout the district before passing them unanimously. The measures include access to restrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity. Though a few parents objected during the meeting’s open comment period, their concerns did not resonate with the board. Board member Peter Strube concluded the brief discussion by declaring, “Let the word go forth here and now that this board will stand united and we will not be intimidated and we will teach tolerance and will be accepting to everyone.”

    Though the family is protecting the identity of the transgender 6-year-old, her mother thanked the board for their swift action, noting that “this has been the most difficult thing my family has ever had to deal with.” She is “glad” to be part of the school district and hopes the measures help many other trans children too.”

  5. It is actually wrong and insane. That a boy can say . I’m a girl you have to let me in the girls showers. If they did not
    have transsexual surgery. no business in girls showers. This silliness without any medical diagnosis is ridiculous. There at 9 AM I’m a boy at 1 PM I’m a girl. The insanity of it all. Transgender children
    do need to have their own showers and restrooms. That would be decent and proper. And get over it you’re not special

    • Sorry Hannah but you apparently need to learn a few things about the transgender experience. Did you know that transgender characteristics are found in many other species? it’s totally natural, and it’s not uncommon in humans either. Transgender people have been around for millenia (yes, before the bible was written), and have been revered in many societies around the world. Transgender isn’t new, but our understanding of it is. There’s nothing wrong or insane about any of it, except for maybe pretending that it isn’t real and doesn’t exist.

  6. I find it quite amusing .I should learn a few things about the transgender experience. My dear I had transsexual surgery over 35 years ago. have lived all around the world Africa Asia traveled all over Europe and South America .I know how they treat us in other countries. But that has nothing to do with using the girls bathroom. When you physically a boy. Have you ever heard of a transvestite.

    • Hannah, also amusing is your comment: “9 AM I’m a boy at 1 PM I’m a girl”. You know full well it doesn’t work that way.

      • Going to the transgender meeting by the local university. In the early 20s or late teens. Young ins. When asked about their gender they said it was fluid. thought what the hell is that? They did not want to be put in a box. They need be put in a padded room. I knew before I was in the first grade. That I was transsexual

        • 1) You clearly don’t know the full range of trans expression and how folks are less likely to want to fit in other folks’ boxes and expectations, and more willing to face criticism to live as their authentic self whatever that is.
          2) You surely recall the one-year real-life experience test before surgery. How does anyone use their right restroom during that period if we go by your restrictions?
          3) Many can’t get surgery because of cost, medical, or social reasons. But you’d forever ban them from using their right restroom!

          • I surely do remember the one year. Going into a restroom and going into your stall. That’s different than going into a shower room at school and at a school everybody knows . I think the so-called fluid should see a psychiatrist.
            We are not special. We also have to have consideration for other 97.7% of the population. It does not matter whether you want to be put in a box or not. Society will do it for you. In life can be hard but that’s life nobody owes you anything. I really wish our country would recognize the third gender that they have in India and celebrate it. Until after surgery People would be more understand I think much happier country.PS I adopted transgender child
            I help her .get her surgery. She has made me so happy

  7. Thank you Mount Horeb S.D. for realizing that private religious interests, even while fiercely resisting intrusion into their inner sanctums, in the epitome of hypocrisy dare intrude into the inner sanctums (school boards) that represent no private interest but the public good. The words of Peter Strube give me chills because these are words that are borne of sincere and divine love that stand in sharp contrast to those “family councils” who purport to represent love while sowing hate against the most innocent: children. As trans adults who were clueless about how to transition as children, let alone realize that it was in fact a medical (hormones) condition, and who have faced tremendous challenges and costs (firing for me) while meandering the transgender gauntlet, we accept our obligation to fight, fight, and fight even more for the trans child as once we also were.

    Peter, your words have the power of truth and I shall write them in my heart. Please extend benevolent thanks to fellow school board members who took pause at first to check “the weather”, understood the power of community, and dared to tell religious interlopers armed with lawyers to stand down and shut up. As a veteran, I have no fear and neither does the Mt. Horeb S.D.—you are I and I are you. Peace, love and thank you for saving trans lives in the process. I wish to share my paper I wrote after I was fired only days after coming out as trans: http://www.scribd.com/doc/282310912/The-State-of-the-Transgender-Union-2011-2015

    • When the hell you get this private religious interests. more primate instincts. Transgender children need their own restroom and showers. Where does .03% of population get to dictate over the other 99.7 .I think the poor children are what they call in India. The third sex. Until they have had transsexual surgery that’s how they should be treated. As a third sex. But with love and honesty and kindness. And I think they should be proud. I think it’s a blessing. At least I think it was a blessing for me.

      • The religious interest part is referring to the group that threatened the school district with a lawsuit (Liberty Council) prompting the school to suspend reading Jazz’s book. That’s 1st Amendment censoring.

        • I do not care about the religious beliefs I hope there happy. But for me it is. more primate instincts have young girls have to take a shower with someone who has male genitalia is just wrong. I must admit I think we should celebrate the third sex more in this country.and
          Life is not always a bed of roses . other people do not have to worry about our feelings. In a free country.

          • the solution is as you say, privacy. It’s not that trans students are trying to enter restrooms….they’re just trying to assimilate with their gender peers (if not trans very hard to understand I know) and so privacy concerns are mutual. The answer has been to add private showers, if they provide those facilities, so nobody should be exposed, which I also agree with.

      • good point…primate instincts. What is happening is that many are opposed for religious reasons. As far as surgery, transgender minors have no acesss. A third sex is same as neither but “other”….trans persons are seeking to go from M to F or F to M, not “other”.

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