Yakima, Washington (AP) The Yakima School District is trying to prevent transgender students from using the girls restroom and the boys bathroom at the high school they attend, but it’s going against the wishes of parents who want their children to be accepted.
The district, which has an annual enrollment of roughly 1,000 students, has said it will allow transgender students to use the boys and girls bathrooms, but not both.
“I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for a student to be in a locker room with another student, but if they are, then that student is allowed to use that restroom,” said the district’s superintendent, David Riggs.
Riggs said he will meet with transgender students at the district Monday to discuss what they need to do.
He said it’s the school district’s job to educate parents and students, not the other way around.
But the district said the decision to allow transgender people to use bathrooms in the same locker room as their peers has been the result of pressure from the community.
“It’s our job to make sure that students and their families feel safe in the public school,” said district spokesman David Leavitt.
“We want them to be able to use facilities of their choosing that match their gender identity, but that’s the bottom line.”
Riggs told the Yakima News Tribune (http://bit.ly/1j6W1j0) that the district will be meeting with transgender and gender-nonconforming students and staff Monday to talk about the process.
“Parents are going to be there to educate and discuss with them what they should be doing to make their children feel comfortable in school,” Riggs added.
The District was the first in the nation to allow a transgender student to use a boys bathroom in high school.
The other districts in Washington allow students to go to the girls bathroom or the girls locker room, but only to change clothes or get changed in the bathroom.
There have been similar battles in Oregon, California and Washington state.
In May, the Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of a transgender male student who was forced to use separate restrooms at school because he was uncomfortable in the locker room.
In a separate ruling, the justices ruled that a transgender female student can use a girls restroom at the school in her first year.