Beauty Academy of Maine is taking steps to end bullying of transgender students
Portland, Maine — A Maine beauty academy is taking measures to end the bullying of students who identify as transgender, the school announced Monday.
The Portland Beauty Academy, located in the affluent St. Albans neighborhood, launched an online campaign on Monday to educate students about bullying, and provide support and resources for transgender students.
“We’re committed to being a safe, inclusive and supportive space for all students and staff,” said Jennifer LeBoeuf, the academy’s executive director.
“We’re also working on developing a comprehensive bullying prevention plan, which includes how to identify, address and prevent bullying.”
The school has had several transgender students on its staff since 2015.
Bethany P. Hildebrand, a senior at the school, said the campaign started on Monday and will continue to include transgender students in future events.
In November, a transgender student at St. George’s College in Westchester County was fired after a student accused her of being disrespectful, according to a report from the St. John’s County School District.
A transgender student also was removed from her own high school after she allegedly made a racist comment to a fellow student, the report said.
Hildebrand said the school will continue providing support for transgender and gender non-conforming students.
She said the academy is working on building an LGBTQ resource center, which will include a bathroom, locker room and dressing room, as well as resources to help students navigate their identity.
“We want to make sure that every student understands how to navigate this in a safe and supportive environment,” she said.
“There will always be bullying, there will always exist those who think they’re different than everyone else.
But we need to create safe spaces where everyone feels safe.”
The Academy of Beauty, founded in 2014 by Hildebeards daughter and former president, is part of the Portland school district.