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11 December 2016

Dana Rivers (1955 - ) teacher.

David Warfield was raised in California. After school he joined the US Navy, where he did a lot of drugs and alcohol. He was a baseball coach and a white-water rafting instructer. David had three wives and a daughter.

At 35 he became a teacher in Antelope, outside Sacramento, California, and won awards for providing inspiration to at-risk teens in what became the award-winning Media Communications Academy. He was awarded an $80,000 grant for his program, won the school's award for the teacher who most inspires students and received a standing ovation from the district's staff at its annual meeting in 1998.

Warfield started transition to Dana Rivers early in 1999 with the intention of returning to school in September as Dana. This was supported by the school, and other teachers read a letter from Dana to their classes, and Dana was interviewed by the school newspaper. However all of four (out of 1500) parents complained that their religious and moral standards had been violated when Dana explained herself to students. They were supported by the Pacific Justice Institute (a right-wing activist legal organization that would be designated a hate group in 2014 by the Southern Poverty Law Center). The PJI threatened the board with lawsuits if they did not try to fire Dana. At a school board meeting a parent said that her 16-year-old daughter was traumatized from hearing about transexualism. However the daughter stood up and told the board that her mother was wrong.

Dana was fired by the school board. Her students protested her suspension with frequent phone calls to the local radio station and marched to the state capitol. Three school-board trustees were threatened with election-recall petitions in protest. Dana was honored with a $10,000 grant from the Colin Higgins Foundation for courage in the face of discrimination. She sued the school board and settled for $150,000 – they also agreed to drop all charges and expunge Dana’s record of all reference to the dismissal. They agreed to use only her new name in all record keeping, and to support her future employment as a teacher by giving to prospective employers an accurate history of her teaching career. Thus she had permission to return to teaching at a different California school.

Dana completed surgery in June 2000 with Dr Eugene Schrang. For three years she was a trans activist appearing on various media including Oprah. People magazine named her one of the 25 most intriguing people of 1999, and Jane magazine named her one of the Gutsiest Women of the Year. She met with Congressman Barney Frank who later dropped trans persons from the campaign for employment non-discrimination right (ENDA) for supposed tactical reasons. There was talk of a book and a film, but they never happened.

Dana then moved to San Francisco and found employment teaching social studies and history at a county jail Charter School.

In November 2016, an Oakland female couple, 56 and 57, and their 19-year-old son, died after being stabbed and shot. Their garage was set on fire. Rivers was arrested outside, covered in blood. She was charged with murder, arson and possession of metal knuckles.

Matt & Andrej Koymasky.

1 comment:

  1. I took a history class from Dana at the San Fran county jail at San Bruno , i really liked Dana as a teacher, I was really surprised to hear about her arrest. I guess hanging out with prisoners all those years rubbed off on her.


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