PJI given brushoff by the Colorado School Board

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is the ex-gay organization who claimed that a trans kid (who I will refer to as Jane Doe, for reasons of safety) in Colorado was harassing cisgender girls in the restrooms. Media outlets published the story without fact checking PJI’s claims, prompting some to call for the death of the trans kid. While PJI’s claims were proven false, the public animosity PJI inspired and aimed at Jane Doe took its toll. Jane Doe was placed on a suicide watch.

PJI acknowledged in a press release that the Florence High School had rejected PJI’s demands for instituting a school-wide system of forced segregation between trans and cisgender students. Furthermore, PJI expressed frustration over the fact that people who possibly cyber bullied Jane Doe were subject to a criminal police investigation.

Unsatisfied with this turn of events, PJI said that they planned on hijacking addressing the next School Board meeting. In a November 1 Pueblo Chieftain article, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) claimed that since the school was unwilling to give in to their demands, PJI would show up to the next Florence School Board meeting in order to make their demands to the Board in a public arena. Matthew McReynolds told the newspaper, “We have asked to appeal the issue to the school board.”

I touched on PJI’s machinations in a recent interview with the Colorado news station, KRDO on November 1st:

News: But you said in this the school just basically told them we didn’t find any case of harassment here?

Cristan: That’s right…

KRDO: Is that just about the gist of what they reported back to them with?

Cristan: Yes. In fact, if you want to have an audio clip of the school superintendent saying exactly that, it’s up on Trans[Advocate]

KRDO: Yet, PJI isn’t satisfied with that answer and now they want to appeal to the School Board and be heard by the School Board.

Cristan: And I’m sure they’ll have cameras in tow and I’m sure that that video and that commentary will show up in their next fundraising letter.

Unsurprisingly, PJI didn’t even wait for the School Board meeting to begin issuing taped demands to be used in their fundraising activities. On November 4th PJI came out with a fundraising video featuring their designs for the Colorado school district:

It seems that PJI won’t get to turn the School Board meeting into a public discussion about where one trans kid uses the restroom. Today the TransAdvocate was contacted by Kathleen Sullivan, attorney for the School District. Sullivan said, “The School Board will not be addressing [PJI’s demands] at the board meeting.” She went on to say that should the School Board add this matter to their agenda, such discussion would take place behind closed doors in executive session and that any discussion would be confidential. “When the School Board does convene, it will do so in executive session as it does for all confidential student matters.”


[column size=”one-half”]

Tip this TransAdvocate!

Writers for the TransAdvocate work hard to bring you news and commentary. If you found this article meaningful, let the author know that you appreciate the work they do with a tip!
[/column] [column size=”one-half” last=”true”] TipJar

Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.