Trans student fights policy in Western PA

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Another transgender teen from Pennsylvania is fighting his school’s homecoming-court policy regarding gender-nonconforming students.

Kasey Caron addressed the Richland High School board Monday night in Johnstown, outside of Pittsburgh, about his school’s decision to ban him from running for homecoming king.

The board said it would examine the issue and announce a decision later this month.

The Richland school guidance counselor last week reportedly asked Caron, who identifies and presents as a male, whether he wanted to be listed on the ballot for homecoming king or queen. He chose to be listed with the other males, but the school’s principal halted that process and said the school could not legally allow him to run for homecoming king since he is legally female.

His classmates went on to elect him to the court as a female, but school officials asked Caron to bring his own date, as opposed to getting paired with one of the males on the court, as per tradition.

At Monday’s meeting, Caron was surrounded by about 100 supporters, including his mother. At least one school-board member misgendered the student in his remarks.

Caron presented his driver’s license, which has a male gender marker, but several board members said they would not consider him legally male until his birth certificate reflects that gender.

The board also acknowledged that it has the authority to overturn the school policy of having “legal” females and males run for queen and king, respectively.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania Pride Alliance president and Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition assistant convener Faith Elmes was in attendance at this week’s meeting and commended Caron’s courage.

“While no student should ever have to face the challenge of the school district administration taking away their dignity, Kasey was fearless in directly countering their ignorance and bigotry,” Elmes said.