The official student-run news publication of Edina High School.

“Stuck between a rock and a hard place”: Administrative policy and community response

January 15, 2022

Fantin felt that while many administrators were independently accommodating towards transgender and non-binary students, this didn’t always result in constructive changes at the school. 

On an individual level, everyone was quite supportive and delightful…I feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, trying to not push things too far for our community where half of us—I think actually it’s more than half of us—want progressive action,” Fantin said. “But there’s a very, very loud conservative group of parents and their students who are just fighting everything tooth and nail.” 

Kratz noted that parents’ attitudes in the district were a limiting factor on how much the school was willing to prioritize the needs of transgender and non-binary students. 

“They are quite conscious of not pissing off the parents in the broader community,” Kratz said. 

Kratz found that when incidents of homophobic bullying were reported to the administration, it rarely resulted in repercussions. Students informally relayed these confrontations to the youth service coordinator at the time, who would then discuss them with the administration. Kratz recalled one case where a trans student was physically “kicked out” of the men’s bathroom by other students.

“I had never heard of anyone having any sort of issues resolved or even addressed by admin directly,” Kratz said. 

School policy dictates that when harassment or bullying is reported to the administration, administrators seek permission from the victim involved before beginning an investigation. “And then there could be school consequences. There often are,” Pretasky said. These consequences can consist of a warning and a conversation with parents to pathways, or suspension, and possibly more serious consequences if threats of violence are involved.  

“So we do take bullying and harassment very seriously. And we want students to report it to us right away,” Pretasky said.

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