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Despite the stardom of her own reality TV show, transgender 17-year-old Jazz Jennings feels immensely isolated at school and has asked her parents to consider enrolling her in a virtual, online school. In a recent episode of I Am Jazz, TLC’s hit show, Jazz admitted to regularly feeling miserable without any friends and eating lunch alone in the bathroom. She feels it’s time to make a change.

Many transgender students walk the halls of our country’s schools feeling isolated, left out and bullied. This social ostracism has dangerous consequences — a New York Civil Liberties Union report found 50% of transgender students avoid school regularly and suffer disproportionately high dropout rates.

Three out of every four transgender students feel unsafe at school, according to a GLSEN survey; those who are able to attend sometimes struggle with lower GPAs and are less likely to continue their education beyond high school. For numerous youth in the transgender community, it’s clear that the traditional school model isn’t working.

Read the full story from USA Today.

About The Author

Kevin P. Chavous

Kevin P. Chavous, President of Academics, Policy, and Schools, joined K12 in November 2017. Mr. Chavous is a noted education reform leader and innovator with a well-chronicled track record of empowering families with education choice and driving change and opportunity for children of all backgrounds and circumstances. Mr. Chavous has worked to advance quality education programs around the nation, most notably as the Education Committee Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia, where he helped to shepherd the charter school movement into the nation’s capital. In addition, he was the founding Board President of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Mr. Chavous is the founder of Democrats for Education Reform and a founding board member of the American Federation for Children. He has been instrumental in advancing charter school and education choice programs around the country, and in 2016, he was inducted into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame. In addition, he received the distinguished Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory High School in Indianapolis. Additionally, Mr. Chavous is an accomplished author, having published four books, including Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education; Voices of Determination: Children that Defy the Odds; and Building a Learning Culture in America, as well as his first novel, The Plan, a political thriller. A prolific writer and inspirational speaker, Mr. Chavous’ opinion editorials have appeared in many major newspapers, and he has given education reform speeches in nearly every state. Mr. Chavous graduated from Wabash College, where he was an NCAA District All-American in basketball. He was inducted into the Wabash Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Mr. Chavous graduated from the Howard University School of Law, where he was president of his graduating class.

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