Thursday, July 23, 2009

NJ Schools Prefer Non-sexually Confused Teachers

Prior to the sex-change operation in 2005, substitute teacher Mr. McBeth received dozens of assignments annually, but since then, "Miss" McBeth has received only a handful. School administrators say there are plenty of others to hire as substitutes.

-- From "Transgender teacher in NJ retiring in frustration" by Wayne Parry, The Associated Press 7/22/09

LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. - When word got out that Mr. McBeth, a popular substitute teacher at two southern New Jersey school districts, was about to come back to class as Miss McBeth, it caused an uproar.

The former William McBeth had undergone sex reassignment surgery and was now Lily McBeth. The schools' 2006 decisions to keep her on as a substitute were hailed around the nation as a model of tolerance and acceptance of transgender Americans.

But the storybook ending never happened: She got only a handful of assignments since then and is resigning in frustration.

"When I got the news from the school board that I would be retained, I was thrilled," she said. "I thought, `They consider me a person of worth, and that I could still be a valuable asset.' But it didn't happen."

Deborah Snyder, the Eagleswood schools superintendent, said the district wanted McBeth to return this fall. She denied bias was involved, adding the district has hired a permanent substitute to report to work each day and fill in as needed.

For other classroom vacancies, the district turns to its list of certified teachers. Only after that is exhausted does it call subs from the local hiring list that included McBeth.

"We wanted to see her back on our sub list," Snyder said. "If she makes the decision not to return to our district, we wish her all the best in the future."

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said McBeth's experience is a common one for transgender employees. A survey her group helped to conduct this year of 6,500 transgender Americans found 91 percent had faced bias at work because of their transgender status.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.