School Punishes Students For “Misgendering” Teacher

Two children in California were penalized for five days for “misgendering” a transgender instructor, according to an email received by GUSD Parents’ Voices. As a part of their penalty, the kids were made to undergo “restorative justice” education. 

GUSD Parents’ Voices is a group that advocates for school-aged children.

In the Glendale Unified School District, the ex-principal of Herbert Hoover High, Jennifer Earl, allegedly said in an email GUSD Parents’ Voices received that she had suspended two pupils for five days each. A transgender instructor was called by the wrong pronoun by the children, who then rushed out of the classroom when they were corrected. 

According to the principal, several kids interviewed said they had wondered what it would be like to interact with a transgender person. They were curious.

The email stated that the teacher asked how to handle the situation, namely whether they should speak to the kids about their experience as a transgender person. The email indicated that the teacher was given the okay to talk about transgender issues. Purportedly,  pupils and their parents praised the program. The email concluded by saying that the restorative justice process will begin after the suspension.

According to the district’s website, restorative practices are used throughout the Glendale Unified School District to decrease, avoid, and improve adverse conduct and settle conflict while holding people and groups accountable. In 2018, the school board convened a Task Force called the Restorative Practices Advisory to advise on the district-wide implementation of Restorative Practices.

No kid has ever been suspended or disciplined for using improper pronouns about another student or faculty member, according to a representative for the district. However, if the behavior escalates to harassment or bullying, the student might face suspension.

In June, three persons were detained in a Glendale Unified School District board meeting lobby. At this meeting, attendees deliberated on whether or not to incorporate discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity into existing curricula. At the meeting, school district superintendent Vivian Ekchian stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion.