Unequal Education: The Issue for Transgender Teenagers in School

Transgender teenagers face an issue across the country: misunderstanding. Through misunderstandings and ignorance, transgender teenagers are now being treated unfairly and unequally in a place that should champion education and openness–school. In a recent article by ThinkProgress, the challenges many transgender teenagers are facing in public school systems across the country are discussed.

Transgender teenagers facing discrimination in schools

For a transgender teen, being called by the pronouns and name given to them at birth can have harsh consequences on the psyche. Imagine if someone were to call you by the wrong name and wrong pronoun consistently throughout your day–you’d call it harassment, right? That’s exactly what a student in Wisconsin is facing.

Ash Whitaker–a transgender boy–is forced to use a unisex bathroom, far from everything, instead of the male restroom; the school even posted security guards outside the boys restroom to make sure he didn’t use it. The transgender boy’s pediatrician even instructed the school to allow him to use the male restroom and the school still refused unless there was proof of an actual medical transition.

The cherry on top was the school district’s decision to make transgender teenagers wear green wrist bands to identify them as transgender. This type of targeting and spotlighting just increases the misunderstanding of transgender teens among their peers. This is not acceptance, it’s not even toleration, it’s obstructing a student from getting their education in a safe setting.

It’s not just Whitaker, either. Transgender students all over the country are experiencing an increase in judgement and hostility in schools.

Teaching tolerance and understanding

Instead of freaking out and placing regulations on transgender teenagers, we need to be increasing our effort to understand them. We need to increase our effort to get other students to understand them. More than 2 in 5 transgender people attempt suicide at some point in their lives. That’s insanely high. Yet, instead of trying to improve understanding among the public, we restrain their rights to the bathroom and focus on what they can’t do. To combat this, we have to educate our children and the public on the struggles of transgender youth and how to help.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help each student succeed and move towards a bright future.

For more information about how Elevations RTC helps transgender teenagers, please call today!