Broward County Schools changes discrimination policy
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida school district has made a major change in its discrimination policy in an effort to protect all students.
The Broward County School Board recently changed the policy to include transgendered students. The school district made the change to protect all students, including those with gender identity issues.
In a YouTube video, Jazz, a transgendered child, said it is OK to be different. "If someone asked me why I used to be a boy, and now I'm a girl, I would say that I have a girl brain and a boy body, and I think like a girl, but I just have a boy body, and it's different than you," Jazz said.
According to Jazz's mother, Jazz was feminine as a young child, although she was born a boy. "In diapers, from the time she could speak, she basically said, 'I am a girl.' If you'd say, 'Good boy,' she says, 'No, Mommy. Good girl,'" Jazz's mother said. "Very feminine. Everything she gravitated to was feminine, so she never acted like a little boy because her mind is that of a little girl."
Jazz's family allowed her to transition and live as a girl. "We didn't know if we were doing the right thing, but our hearts and guts said, you know what? We are, because it's about her, and this is her life," said Jazz's mother.
Josie Romero is another child who was born a boy. Josie used to be called "Joseph." Josie's parents tried to get her to dress and act like a boy but said he refused to do so. "Josie's always wanted to change her body," said Josie's mother.
The children and their parents realize that life for transgendered kids can be difficult at times. "Kids can be mean," said Jazz's mother. "Most of the time, they are nice to her, but on any given day, she can have a bad day."
Broward County Schools hopes to change this through its modified discrimination policy. "The violation of any part of this policy shall be grounds for discipline up to and including termination of employment," said Broward County School Board Member David Thomas.
School Board Member Jennifer Gottlieb said, "It's a proud day for Broward County Public Schools, for all of our students."
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you for bringing this issue to light," said Robin Bartleman, another school board member.
The parents of transgendered children in the county are excited that the school board has made the change to include their children. "I'm thrilled that Broward County has acknowledged this issue," Jazz's mother said. "She's very happy, very well-adjusted, and I just hope it continues that way because adolescence is right around the corner, and that can be a tough time."
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