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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

7/06/2017: Trangender Lawsuit; Summer Safety Matters; Clean City Saturday


Today on “First Coast Connect,” we heard legal analysis of a federal lawsuit filed by a transgender student against the St. Johns County School District from attorney Mike Freed (01:09). Monique Burr Foundation Program Outreach Manager Joni Shook (29:44) talked about the new program Summer Safety Matters. And local activist Matt Killen (40:08) gave us a preview of a new event called Clean City Saturday. 


Transgender Lawsuit  

Sixteen-year-old Drew Adams is a junior at Nease high School. He has presented himself as male since 2015 and has been open about being transgender since his freshman year. Adams is undergoing hormone treatments and is a Gay/Straight Alliance student leader. During his freshman year, he was pulled from a classroom and told he must use only gender-neutral bathrooms instead of the boys’ bathroom because someone complained anonymously. Adams says it sometimes takes as much as 20 minutes for him to reach one of the school’s gender-neutral bathrooms, which makes him miss class time.

Summer Safety Matters

The Monique Burr Foundation for Children has launched a new program called Summer Safety Matters to help parents keep children safe during summer months. Being out of school and with new adults in new places like camps, summer programs and at friends’ houses, opens them up to potentially risky situations. And with kids’ spending more unsupervised time online during the summer, they need to be aware of digital dangers lurking in apps, chat rooms, gaming sites and virtual reality sites.

Clean City Saturday

Matt Killen has led a downtown cleanup for about two months. He said the group has moved about a half a ton of trash from the LaVilla/Church Street area on the edge of downtown. On Clean City Saturdays, volunteers partner with a local business that is willing to provide trash bags, gloves and water. Volunteers are being asked to join cleanup efforts 10 a.m. Saturday at City Place Apartments at 311 W. Ashley St. downtown.           

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.    

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.