The world first became aware of Issak Oliver Wolfe, a transgender senior attending Red Lion Area High School when his bid for prom king was unceremoniously changed to prom queen by the school’s principal Mr. Shue. There wasn’t much Issak could do about that because it was done without his knowledge at the last moment. He didn’t learn of the change until he went to cast his ballot!
But it was just the beginning of Issak’s battle for respect. The ACLU became involved at that time demanding that Issak be allowed to attend the prom in his authentic gender as a male with his supportive girl friend Taylor. Mr. Shue relented and allowed them to attend but there is one more critical unresolved issue.
Mr. Shue has said Issak’s legal name will be read at graduation. Issak is in the process of changing his name now that he is 18, but that won’t be completed until after graduation.
The PA code Title 22 Education does not require schools to read a students legal name at graduation and nether does the Red Lion School District.
Read Issack’s authentic name. Soon after graduation it will become his for the rest of his life. It’s just a simple request. Respect not bigotry.
From the ACLU May 6th press release
On April 25, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania sent a letter on behalf of Wolfe, asking among other things, that the school allow Wolfe to attend graduation wearing a black cap and gown for boys, as opposed to the yellow cap and gown mandated for girls, and have his male name read at the ceremony. The letter also asked that the school adopt a policy to allow students to run for prom court in accordance with their gender identity, as well as a broader nondiscrimination policy protecting transgender students in the district. In his response, the school district’s solicitor agreed to allow Issak to wear a black cap and gown but denied the rest of his requests.
“I am really disappointed that the school district doesn’t want to do anything to protect transgender students,” said Wolfe, a senior at Red Lion Area High School. “I want to make sure that future transgender students are not humiliated and disrespected the way I was.”
Wolfe plans to take his case to the RLASD school board at their next meeting on Thursday, May 16