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New Name Law Targets Non-Cisgenderd Students

Rose and Charlie are current 9th grade students

On May 26th, 2023 Governor Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 496. A part of the new law requires schools to tell the parents if their child requests accommodation for nicknames or gender identity. This includes pronoun or name changes that are different from what the school has on file. Students at Clear Creek Amana High School state their opinions about the law and how it impacted the queer student body.

Ellowynn Seckel, a freshman at Clear Creek Amana High School talks about the new law and how it has impacted him. “I feel like they are trying to get rid of us, they don’t want us here because we are trans and we aren’t ‘natural’”. He continues, “The government is just making it more difficult for transgender youth to be themselves.”

This law has impacted the school environment and culture. Seckel resumes, “The law has definitely put strain on student-teacher relationships. And teachers have tried accommodating the best they can but it’s not the same,” He continues to discuss the impact, “Although the law hasn’t just impacted transgender youth, it impacts people who want to go by any nickname”. Skyler Wheeler, a Republican state representative and education chair has discussed. She went on to talk about how the law was meant only for children to affirm their gender identity. The law wasn’t made to impact cis-gendered students or anyone who has a nickname.

Seckel goes on to talk about the government, “I think the government is trying to “stop it while it’s young” if we don’t have any transgender youth then we won’t have any transgender adults,” Seckel resumes, “They are trying to get rid of us and it’s not going to work”.

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Another freshman, Charlie Mulford, discusses their opinion and how the law has impacted them. “I am fortunate enough to have supportive parents but I know many people who don’t.” They continue, “People shouldn’t be afraid to be outed or discriminated against because they are trans.” Students are afraid to start socially transitioning because of the potential impact it could have on their home life.

Muldford resumes, “People have built this narrative that teachers are turning your kids trans, which is untrue. So this law was easier to install because they already built this narrative that they are ‘protecting the children’, which they aren’t.” The law has created a rocky atmosphere within schools, causing students not to feel as safe or comfortable confiding in teachers about their gender identity.

Freshman Rose Piehl states some final thoughts about the new law. “It’s stupid that they pass off something that is clearly anti-queer, as ‘protecting kids’ and giving parents more choice,” She continues to talk about how the impact lingers in school, “All it’s doing is stopping children who don’t have supportive parents from being themselves in school.  It’s taking away a safe place.”

Piehl irradiates her opinion and why the law is targeted towards K-12 education, “I believe that it is targeted towards education because that is the only thing that they can do. They being the Republican lawmakers in power (not all), Kim Reynolds, and anyone who voted for this law to be passed,” She continues, “The main point was to take away school being a safe place, to silence and repress queer voices and identities in school.”

The new law has heavily impacted queer and non-cisgendered students. School is meant to be a safe place for education and knowledge. How are students capable of feeling safe and welcome in an environment where they are told being themselves could potentially put them in harm’s way?

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About the Contributor
Taylor Dolezal
Taylor Dolezal, Social Media Editor

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