by Adam Brooks

Almost a year ago, Hannah Rini, a 14-year- old transgender student, was told that the San Francisco non-profit program No Bully was coming to her Pawtucket school. Hannah said the best thing that could come from it would be “just being accepted for who you are – I think that’s the best thing you could ever ask for.” According to Hannah,she has faced some teasing but things seem to be looking up. Her teachers use her preferred name in class, as well as in her official documents. According to the Rini family, the school department was “fully supportive” of Hannah and did their best to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for all their students.With the school year already over, it will be some time before we can see the widespread effect of the new guidelines on faculty and students, but many are hopeful that schools across Rhode Island will follow the example set by Pawtucket and Cumberland, the latter of which was the first school district to adopt a formal transgender policy.