Acceptance At Arrowhead: Reactions to Transgender Students


For the month of October, Arrowhead’s school theme is tolerance and accepting everyone, despite their differences.

Last year, the foreign language departments designed t-shirts that said “It’s Not Weird, It’s Different,” in several languages. This year’s design says: “Acceptance: See With Your Heart, Not Your Eyes.”

Students taking foreign language classes made locker decorations that promoted tolerance of others.

Arrowhead encourages the acceptance of different races, religious beliefs, languages, and genders. But what about transgender students? How would the student body react to transgender students expressing themselves in school?

According to Arrowhead’s principal, Gregg Wieczorek, “We would do the same thing we would do with everybody else.”

The school has dress codes and policies that prohibit the advertisement and promotion of drugs or alcohol, or outfits that are too revealing.

Wieczorek says, “There’s not a cut and dry policy as for this is acceptable, but it’s done on what’s good taste.”

Each student must adhere to these guidelines, and transgender students would be expected to do the same. Within reason, every student can dress how they want. Transgender students would be free to express themselves just as other students are.

Wieczorek says, “We treat everybody on a fair and equal basis. There’s no preference or treatment given one way or the other. Somebody wants to dress in a certain fashion, as long as it’s not inappropriate, as long as it’s not over revealing [that’s okay]. If somebody wants to dress in a transgender form, that’s totally fine. We don’t have a problem with that.”

Sophomore Anna Lied says, “I don’t think my opinions about [a transgendered student] would really change. I kind of accept all people.”

Senior Michael Foulkrod says, “If you’re happy, then that’s all that matters.”

Most students interviewed say they believe the rest of the student body would be as accepting.

Senior Emma Gilbertson says, “It’s a pretty diverse school, with different ethnicities, so I think they would accept the transgender person.”

Lied says, “I think because we’re such a big school, there’s definitely going to be a portion of the body that is not going to be accepting. But we have different groups working towards Gay/Straight Alliance. So I think there will be some portion of the student body that will be accepting.”


Senior Drew Renner says, “Hopefully they’d be accepting, it’s not really anybody else’s problem.”

However, both Foulkrod and senior Colton James say they believe Arrowhead students would not be tolerant of transgender people.

James says, “ I think most of the people are too conservative to really be accepting towards any non-straight people. They’re really stuck in their ways in that way a lot of people are.”

Arrowhead’s health classes are divided by gender, and as any other school or public place, the bathrooms and locker rooms have separate too.

Wieczorek says, “They would be in whatever their gender is. If they were to come forward and say they would prefer to be in one of the other, then that would be a conversation we’d have to have.”

Unless the transgender student specifically states that they would prefer to be in the class of the gender they identify as, they would be placed in the class and use the facility of the gender they were originally born.

Wieczorek says, “Let’s say they were having a conversation in the health class on the reproductive system. We want girls to feel comfortable asking questions that they don’t have to worry about boys embarrassing them with. And vice versa, we want the boys to ask questions and not be embarrassed because there’s girls in there. So we want there to be some open dialogue.”

James says, “If you’re a transgender girl–you were a guy and then you’re going to a girl–then you should be in the girls’ locker room, because you identify as a girl. That’s just how it should work, and vice versa, obviously.”

Contradictory to what some of the other students believe, Senior Kristen Boucher says she does not support transgender student using the facilities of the opposite gender.

She says, “I don’t have a problem with them being here, but beyond that, it gets more complicated.”

Arrowhead emphasizes the significance of acceptance and tolerance through the locker decorations, posters of acceptance quotes, and t-shirts. This effort is reflected in the replies of the chosen students who were interviewed about the topic.

Freshman Mason Hofstetter says, “Gender is not what God gave you, but what you want to be.”