School Refuses to Use Grad's Transgender Name

Issak Wolfe had the ACLU on his side, to no avail
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2013 6:16 AM CDT
School Refuses to Use Grad's Transgender Name
Issak Wolfe   (Facebook)

(Newser) – When Issak Wolfe walks in his Pennsylvania high school's graduation ceremony Friday, he won't hear his name read aloud as he accepts his diploma. Instead, he'll hear his legal—female—name, Sierra Stambaugh, the York Dispatch reports. Wolfe is transgender, and Red Lion Area High School has refused his request to read the male name he now uses, despite Wolfe's backing from the ACLU. The district's position: A diploma is a legal document and needs to carry a legal name; Wolfe is legally changing his name, but hasn't completed the process yet since he just turned 18 in April.

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But Wolfe hoped that, even if his diploma carried his birth name, his chosen name could be read aloud. The principal rejected his request, so the ACLU took the issue to the school board, which last week decided to uphold the principal's decision, the Patriot-News reports. (Wolfe was accompanied by more than 50 supporters and a petition bearing 2,000 signatures when he attended the board meeting, NBC Philadelphia reports.) The district will, however, allow Wolfe to wear a black cap and gown with the rest of the male students, rather than the yellow one worn by the female students. Wolfe was previously in the news in April, when his principal listed him on the prom queen ballot, rather than the prom king ballot as he had requested. (Read more Issak Wolfe stories.)

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