The New York state Capitol in Albany.

The New York state Capitol in Albany. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

Trans guidelines crucial in schools

We applaud the state Education Department on its framework for creating safe and affirming school environments for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) students [“State guidelines for trans students,” News, June 13].

My team and I have seen firsthand how affirming students’ gender identity is critical for their school performance, self-esteem and overall mental health. The consequences of denying TGE students a supportive environment can be devastating.

These recommendations include the perspectives of TGE students in New York. It is critical that young people have a voice in these discussions. As many of the students quoted in the article expressed, there is often an onus on LGBTQ students to educate the people intended to care for them. This should not be their responsibility.

However, many teachers are already overburdened and need support in having the information, resources and training to properly implement the recommendations.

New York State schools should implement this guidance from the Education Department as soon as possible and include community partners in the execution.

— Michelle Gjuraj, Smithtown

The writer is vice president of Education and Training, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic.

’Wokeness’ isn’t the problem. Albany is

As an independent voter, I am not certain that Cathy Young is correct that “woke” excess is driving many to the right in New York politics [“Pushback on ‘wokeness’ is legitimate,” Opinion, June 9].

While I believe it has an impact, along with several other issues, I suggest the bigger problem is the Albany decision-making process led by State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

With them in power, voters need to elect politicians with a common-sense attitude toward more important problems of the day, such as crime, which affects us daily.

— Larry Horn, East Norwich

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