Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

September 4, 2013

Homecoming rule stirs transgender debate at Pa. high school

(Continued)

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. —

Kasey was given until Tuesday to make a decision. By then his mother, Kathy Caron, and her partner, Cindy Theys, had gotten involved and contacted various groups to mount a defense.

"Oh my gosh, I got so angry when I came home and heard the story," Kathy Caron said.

Kasey wrote an editorial that was published on gaynewsletter.com, and word spread quickly about his situation.

On Tuesday, Kathy Caron and Theys sat down with school administrators.

"They were very apologetic. They were very sympathetic," Kathy Caron said. But ultimately, school officials told them they could not change their position.

Richland Superintendent Thomas Fleming declined a request for an interview.

Pennsylvania State Sen. John Wozniak, D-Westmont, who co-sponsored anti-discrimination bills earlier this year, said cases such as Kasey’s can help change the way transgendered students are treated.

"I think we have to evolve. We have to have the conversation and more public awareness," Wozniak said. "It's a tough issue, but these are real people, too.

"We're dealing with a situation where it's uncharted territory here in Pennsylvania."

For the 17-year-old, the situation has become much bigger than he expected.

"I was trying to deal with my senior year with the least amount of stress," Kasey said with a laugh. "I was more concerned with what college I’m going to go to and the SATs."

Eric Knopsnyder is editor of The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa.

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