Chicago Phoenix
December 18, 2012

After over two months of contentious debate, controversy and uncertainty, the East Aurora School District 131 has called off the creation of a new policy that would add protections for transgender and gender nonconforming students. After hearing over 30 members of the local community — about 40 miles west of Chicago — decry the creation of such a policy as “dangerous” for district students, the school board unanimously voted Monday to disband the Ad Hoc committee it ordered in late October, citing its failure to yield progress. “We have gotten to hear from the parents of the community and I am glad for that,” said Board President Annette Johnson. “I think this committee has served the purpose of bringing the community together and I think it is time to disband the committee.” Anita Lewis, a school board member who chaired the Ad Hoc committee said she was disappointed by its inability to get work done during its meetings due to people from within and outside the community demanding to be a part of the discussion. “Unfortunately, this committee has turned into a show,” Lewis said. “We have policies already in place that are there to protect students. I don’t see us going forward. This Ad Hoc committee isn’t going to help anyone. I think we should get rid of it.”