Borough residents comment on North Pole High incident

FAIRBANKS, Alaska The incident that occurred at North Pole High School has brought up many levels of debate.

"Many of our students do not feel safe this week, so let's be clear, this was not an act of protest, this was an act of bullying. The superintendent's statement also appears to give some legitimacy to the stance of the cis-gender boy, the statement says that they entered the restroom quote to 'take a Snapchat of their own', similar to what the transgender student did, that is incorrect, the cis-gender boys were not taking a snap chat for the same reason, their intended snap chat was an act of bullying," said Hayden Nevill, Founder of Gender Pioneers.

And these different opinions were brought up at Tuesday night's school board meeting.

"I'm not here to defend what the boys did, I'm not here to say that they were right or wrong, or that the girl was right or wrong...I think we're talking about equality for all, is all the students, and I'm glad that the school district and schools focus on equality for different kids but I think we need to make sure that we are looking at all groups of kids," said FNSB Resident Brandy Howard.

Superintendent Karen Gaborik commented on the incident at the end of the public testimony. "The families have the right to appeal, so the first step in that appellate process is with a district hearing officer, and then the second step is with the school board, so in this particular case, first steps are scheduled this week, and those are happening. So again, I think it's important that we let these processes play out, this isn't finished yet," said Gaborik.

Gaborik was happy with the tenor of the night, as people spoke their thoughts. These are hard and important conversations the school district needs to have with the community and will continue having them into the future.