New Hampshire is the only New England that doesn’t have protection for us, the last time it came up in the state legislature the bill sponsors didn’t even vote for their bill. But there are islands of rationality in the state, Portsmouth and other towns have ordinances to protect us and now Keene school has passed protection for us.
Keene school board unanimously passes transgender policyIt is not the best policy, but it is a start.
By Isaac Stein
February 15, 2017
It’s an issue of national import, and discussion about it has been happening here for several months. But Tuesday night was different — someone who openly identifies with the group being discussed was there to offer her perspective.
Stepping up to the mic during the public comment section of the school board meeting, Keene resident Jordan Mikayla Goodwin expressed support for the proposal on the table — a policy intended to protect transgender and gender nonconforming students in Keene public schools.
Goodwin, 34, is a master’s student in clinical mental health counseling at Antioch University New England, and a transgender woman, meaning she identifies with a gender different from her biological sex. She stressed that she hopes the board treats the issue with nuance as it goes forward.
“I ask you to treat this subject with empathy. Something as simple as having to go down a floor to go to the bathroom can be a hindrance to education and a form of discrimination, because it sets (a student) apart from their peers,” Goodwin said.
She was happy when the bill passed, 8-0. Board members Christine Parshall, Dawn Mutuski, Edward Murdough, George Downing, Jim Carley, Julia Atkins, Kris Roberts and Peter Starkey all voted in favor; Susan Hay was absent.
As written, the Keene policy allows, on a case-by-case basis, transgender students to use restrooms — and generally allows them to use locker rooms — that correspond with the gender they identify with.