The strangest part about this story is the fact that the teacher did not even identify as a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ — but a ‘THEY.’ This perfectly illustrates the slippery slope of accommodating to every single thing that someone can ‘self identify’ as. Now, the school is taking EXTREME measures to avoid offending this teacher.
The Gresham-Barlow School District has agreed to pay $60,000 and make sweeping changes across its nearly two dozen campuses after a transgender elementary school teacher complained of more than a year of harassment from coworkers.
Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher at Hall Elementary School, came out as transgender last spring after surviving breast cancer.
The harassment started soon after, Soell said in a complaint submitted to district officials, and continued even after the school hosted an hourlong training on transgender issues.
Soell identifies as neither male nor female and uses the pronoun they instead of he or she. But, Soell wrote, coworkers continuously called Soell “she,” “lady” or “Miss Soell.” Someone smeared Vaseline on Soell’s cabinets, the complaint said, and another yelled insults in the school hallway. Others conspired to prevent Soell from using the school’s lone gender-neutral bathroom, the complaint said.
A district investigation, which officials have declined to release, found no proof of harassment.
But Gresham-Barlow officials agreed to a settlement this month that compensates Soell for emotional damages. District leaders also agreed to add gender-neutral bathrooms to all schools, create clear policies about transgender teachers and host mandatory trainings for all Gresham principals, as well as Hall staff.
Read more: Oregon Live