Transgender Bathrooms in Public Schools — How Does Buffalo Feel?
On Friday, the Obama administration issued an edict regarding schools and transgender bathrooms, encouraging all schools to allow students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
It's important to note that this is not currently backed by law, it's a policy suggestion that would allow all students the right to use any facility (bathroom or locker room) based on the gender they identify with. This is addressed to students, only, not the staff/faculty.
Possibly affecting federal funding, the policy says:
a school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity
The letter was signed by officials from the Department of Justice and Education, after President Obama slammed the North Carolina "bathroom law" which requires all government agencies and public schools to have multiple-occupancy public restrooms separated by "biological sex", not gender identity. Obama said it was important not to send the message that anybody is treated differently.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? As of press time, 53% who answered our Twitter poll agreed.
Parents, how do you feel? Do you think it should be legislated on a federal level? Are you talking about it with your family? How's the conversation going?
Some reactions on our text line:
- Lou / Buffalo: Transgender people are interested in one thing, and one thing only when they enter a bathroom - peeing. Everyone is panicking because this could open the door to cis-gender people who would take advantage of the edict. Perhaps THAT is where we should focus our energy. Not on the people who want to use the restroom in which they feel comfortable.
- Sarah / Lockport: Ok, so I don't mean this disrespectful to anyone, just trying to understand. What if I'm in a wheelchair and I don't want to be singled out or have to use the one accessible stall? Doesn't that also put me in an unwanted spotlight
- Cindy / Arcade: I think when you issue a knee-jerk edict, you force people to make quick opinions instead of warming slowly to an idea. So instead of discussion, you get rigidity and anger. That is the situation with the bathroom issue. People don't like to be forced or threatened into accepting something
- Michelle/Colden: 1 word: UNISEX bathrooms! (just like Starbucks has)!
- Patricia / Lockport: Obama is an idiot! Sorry he doesn't get it. I'm not a fan of sharing bathrooms. This is ridiculous...leave ÷%£¥ alone!!!! My daughter shouldn't be walking in a bathroom with a man using it as well….
- Joe K / Cheektowaga: All rest rooms should be individual off a central passage with own sink etc. Should have been that way all along, with no sex designation
Share your thoughts!
Here's what happened on Facebook: