Maryland School District Sued for Failing to Take Abuse Against Trans Teacher Seriously

Jennifer Eller, a transgender woman and teacher, is suing Prince George's school district because nothing was done to stop the abuse that she suffered for years from students, other staff members, and parents, according to Into More.

The abuse began in 2011 when Eller announced that she was transitioning. Her students called her a pedophile and the human resources representative who was assigned to help her through her transition insisted that she present as a male and even told her that a note from her therapist regarding the transition is "garbage." The school also refused to update her email address to reflect her gender identity. Because of the abuse mentioned above, Eller was afraid to go to work every day as she did not know "where the next attack would come from." She was also not allowed to wear a dress and when she transferred to Friendly High School, the abuse worsened. 

In Friendly High School, which is very ironically named, Eller was subjected to threats of rape from students and ignored reports of abuse from school principal Raynah Adams. One uncooperative student referred to her as a man and said that an earthquake was a punishment from God for the school hiring her. 

The school canceled its transgender sensitivity training program in 2015 and never reinstated it.  After transferring to James Madison Middle School, Eller continued to face discrimination and abuse and ultimately had to seek out outpatient psychiatric help from a therapist at a local hospital. She resigned during the next year. 

Eller is suing the school district because the abuse she suffered violated her rights under the Equal Rights clause in the Constitution, as well as the Civil Rights Act and the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act. She is seeking unspecified damages and back pay from the district. She is now acting as a youth counselor for the United States Navy's Child and Youth Programs. 

I hope that Eller gets the justice that she deserves because nobody should have to go through such abuse and have it ignored. The fact that it had to get so bad that she needed psychiatric help should be a wakeup call to many people about how transgender people are still treated in the United States and around the world. 


h/t: Into More

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