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I Faked a Head Injury to Be Able to Use the Restroom as a Trans Kid, and You Should Too

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‘This Is Something Worth Getting in Trouble For’ 

In 2010 I transferred to a new high school as a sophomore. I was a fifteen year old trans woman, a fact that did not go unrecognized by administration of my new school, who immediately told me I was the first trans student to ever attend.

The registrar had told me that in order to make me feel comfortable, I had been given open access to one of the faculty bathrooms in my fair sized high school campus with multiple floors and wings. And I used it, for a while, because I was somewhat uncomfortable in gendered spaces. Within the next year or so I had grown bolder, and more annoyed at the inconvenience and decided to stop. This also did not go unnoticed, and I soon myself staring down my principal in his office.

I was told that they had spoken with their attorney and had been told that I was legally required to use either the men’s room or non-gendered restrooms, and that if I didn’t listen I would receive detentions, and possibly more. I came prepared, with printed and highlighted court cases, state statutes, and title IX excerpts. They didn’t listen, and refused to provide notes on the meeting or confirm that they had plans to punish me.

I listened for about a week, and like before, I grew bolder, and stopped. I concurrently sent a FOIA Request for the communication between the school administration and the attorney, and after that was denied, submitted another request for a clarification of what happened in the meeting and the guidance they had given me.

I was called down to my dean’s office and told to calm down. I didn’t. I instead sent my principal a letter and CC’d every faculty member of importance at the school.


Mr. Jay Hoffmann and Associates,

I regret to inform you that I sustained a mild head trauma some time before break, I am in fair condition and high spirits, but I must alert you to the fact that my memory was slightly affected by the incident and I have lost the ability to recall a particular event that took place in mid October, 2011.

While I am not completely able to remember the exact happenings of said event, through a series of email searches I have managed to determine that this meeting concerned my ability to use the bathroom while attending school, but I have no recollection as to what specifically happened at the aforementioned meeting.

If there happened to be anything of importance said during the October meeting concerning special instructions on how I am supposed to function within the school due to your understanding of my body or identity, I would like to know.

Due to my active role within my community, the chances of me sustaining another memory altering head injury within the near future are staggeringly high — if you and your staff would like to avoid explaining what happened in the initial meeting and subsequent meetings with great frequency, as further head injuries occur, I highly suggest that you provide me with an official letter concerning any special instructions or punitive actions to be taken against me if I fail to comply.

Since this head injury, I have used the school’s facilities as permitted by the Illinois Human Rights Act and will continue to do so until I am told differently in writing.

Please note that any punitive actions taken against me will most likely result in a filing with the Human Rights Committee, FOIA requests for all communications pertaining to the event, press releases, news tips, and the raising of community awareness.


I didn’t get called to the office anymore after this. In fact, the administration refused to speak with me until after I graduated. I didn’t get in trouble, and since I left, there have been roughly a dozen other trans kids who have gone un-bothered by the administration

Could this have gone differently, particularly if I wasn’t in a state with laws on the books to help me? Definitely. But the point is, draconian laws are much harder to enforce on people who will fight you.

If you’re a trans high schooler, have Title IX complaints typed up — yes, you can still file those — and let your administration know that you have them. Go scream at your school board until they carry you out. Show up at your principal’s office until you become a nuisance. Fax your superintendent until their machine runs out of ink. Send FOIA requests for everything you can think of, costing your school time and money.

They want us to cower, so don’t.

For parents and allied students, it is your responsibility to cause as much disruption as needed to ensure trans kids are safe and not pushed out of schools. Block bathrooms. Yell at your dean. Get escorted out of town halls and board meetings. This is something worth getting in trouble for.

Alex_Sennello.jpg
Graduation in 2013

 

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This article including the image was originally published on Medium and is republished here with the author’s permission.

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CRIME

‘Blood Everywhere’ and ‘The World Is Dead’: Prosecutor Details Accused School Mass Shooter’s Alarming Note

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Oakland County, Michigan prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed a teacher was so alarmed by a note she saw on Ethan Crumbley‘s desk the morning of the shooting she took a photo of it with her cell phone and alerted school administrators. Hours later eleven students would be shot. Four of them died.

That note, McDonald revealed, “contained the following: a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, ‘the thoughts won’t stop help me.’ In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet: ‘blood everywhere.’ Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words, ‘my life is useless,’ and to the right of that are the words, ‘The world is dead.'”

Crumbley, 15, is the accused Oakland High School mass shooter who is now facing murder and terrorism charges and is being charged as an adult. On Friday McDonald announced she is charging his parents with four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter.

“As a result,” of the teacher finding the note, McDonald told reporters, “James and Jennifer Crumbley were immediately summoned to the school. A school counselor came to the classroom and removed the shooter and brought him to the office with his backpack.”

She says the school counselor had obtained the note but Crumbley “had already altered it.”

“The drawings of the gun and the bloody figure were scratched out along with the words ‘help me,’ and ‘my life is useless,’ ‘The world is dead,’ and ‘blood everywhere.’ Those were all altered by him”.

Earlier: Prosecutor Reveals Disturbing Texts, Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Against Parents of Michigan High School Accused Shooter

“At the meeting James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and were advised that they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. Both James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him, or where his gun was located, and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him.”

McDonald says the parents “resisted the idea of … their son leaving the school at that time. Instead, James and Jennifer promptly left the high school without their son. He was returned to the classroom.”

The mass shooting began shortly thereafter.

Ethan Crumbley is accused of murdering four of his classmates and wounding seven others. The students who died are Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17.

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CRIME

Prosecutor Reveals Disturbing Texts, Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Against Parents of Michigan High School Accused Shooter

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The parents of 15-year old Ethan Crumbley, the accused Oxford High School mass shooter, have been charged with four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter, CNN reports. The prosecutor also revealed a disturbing text exchange between Crumbley and his mother.

Crumbley, who is being charged as an adult. is accused of murdering four Michigan high school students and wounding seven others in the deadliest school shooting in at least three years. He faces charges including terrorism and murder.

“The semiautomatic handgun recovered in the attack was bought by the suspect’s father on Nov. 26, four days before the shooting, the county sheriff has said,” CNN adds. “Prosecutors are considering information regarding the purchase of the gun and its accessibility and storage, along with other details. The weapon is a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol, authorities have said.”

Friday afternoon Oakland County, Michigan, prosecutor Karen McDonald (photo) in a news conference said the charges against Crumbley’s parents are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable,” and to “send a message.”

In a stunning development McDonald told reporters a teacher had caught “Ethan Crumbley searching ‘ammunition’ on his cell phone in class” and reported it to school officials. School officials contacted Crumbley’s mother via a voicemail and via an email “but received no response from either parent.”

“Thereafter,” McDonald continued, “Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages with her son on that day, stating: ‘LOL. I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.'”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Newsmax Host Falsely Attacks Biden and Entire Democratic Party for Declaring ‘War on Christianity’

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A host on the far right wing cable and streaming TV channel Newsmax has declared the entire Democratic Party, including its devoutly-Catholic President, has “declared war,” not on just Christmas, but on “Christianity” itself. That would be extremely surprising to the majority of Democratic registered voters who self-identify as Christian.

The revelation of a “war on Christianity” comes in a wide-ranging attack on the left from the Newsmax host Friday morning, who decided to attack the White House’s highly-praised Christmas decorations this year, which were designed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

“This week is about Christmas at the White House,” the host declared. “I love Christmas decorations. But this looks a little like a Carnival Cruise especially from an administration and political party as a whole that has declared war on Christianity for a while now.”

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