Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wisconsin first grade teacher sets great example for dealing with gender variance among children

Thanks to Shannon Minter for alerting me to this heartwarming account of a Jackson County, Wisconsin teacher's experience with a gender variant first grader.  Melissa Bollow Tempel, in "It's Okay to be Neither," sets an amazing example of how to deal with gender issues in the classroom, including a girl, Allie, who was often taken as a boy.  Equally heartworming, the girl's parents were accepting of their child.  When the teacher called home to ask if she should correct children who said Allie was a boy, Allie's mom asked her what she wanted.  (She wanted the teacher to tell them she's a girl).

There's a growing number of custody disputes between divorced parents who disagree about how to deal with a gender variant child, including children who meet the diagnostic criteria for GIDC (gender identity disorder - children).  Judges are inclined toward the parent who wants to discourage gender variance.  I'd like this Wisconsin teacher's approach to gain ground among teachers and all who deal with children, in the hope that judges will catch on.

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