The Inquirer made a serious error in judgment when it revealed far too much identifying information in an article describing the life of a transgender student in the Haverford School District ("School challenge: Transgender student is age 9," May 3). By introducing the name of the school and the neighborhood in which the subject lives, someone intent on harming this young person could easily find out her identity.
Reporting that is done on victims of sexual abuse or violence reveals comparatively less identifying information to protect individuals' privacy.
Additionally, the incorrect reference to the individual's gender as male (her birth gender) as opposed to female (the gender identity, since she dresses and acts as a girl at school and at home) upset many in the community who are more sensitive to the daily challenges of living as a transgender person.
The Inquirer clearly ignored reputable journalistic standards by using pronouns in a manner inconsistent with the Associated Press Stylebook's guidelines on referring to transgender people.
The paper apparently obtained the name of the school from a Haverford Township blog. I am disappointed to know that the editor of The Inquirer believes that finding the name of the child's school in a blog would give him license to publish this information. It could endanger the safety of this elementary school child and her family.
Stephen A. Glassman
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
In her May 8 commentary, "School's sensitivity is off-target," Marybeth T. Hagan wrote that public-school employees have lost their right to pray.
The Constitution of the United States protects our rights in the separation of church and state. Teachers, principals, guidance counselors and students pray frequently. Our prayers are private, not public, acts. I cannot teach children how to pray or when to pray. That is not my job.
But I do pray in the public-school system, where I have been working since 1972. Now I pray for the little girl who will be judged by others in her school and community because she is transgender. If families want to avoid the child at this difficult time in her life, perhaps they should consider home-schooling.
Dianne Gwynne Berger
Annette John-Hall's May 6 column, "A silver lining to going green," could not have been better timed. Two bills that would stimulate our economy and create tens of thousands of green jobs throughout the state and across all skill levels are awaiting action by the Pennsylvania Senate.
The Clean Energy Funding Bill would provide $850 million to promote clean energy, with a guarantee of $200 million for solar rebates and new solar manufacturing facilities. For each megawatt of solar power installed, 20 manufacturing and 13 installation and maintenance jobs are created. The second bill, the Energy Savings Bill, would create energy-conservation programs, giving customers the tools and information needed to cut their electricity bills. Investing in energy conservation also attracts new jobs and companies.
The Senate must put aside partisan issues and pass both bills by June 30.
Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future
Center for Energy, Enterprise
and the Environment