Should Schools Include Transgender Students in Nondiscrimination - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

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    Yes; they should be allowed to choose which facilities they use.
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Should Schools Include Transgender Students in Nondiscrimination Policies?

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A Louisville high school is discussing updating its nondiscrimination policy to include transgender students and employees (CNN affiliate KCRA). A Louisville high school is discussing updating its nondiscrimination policy to include transgender students and employees (CNN affiliate KCRA).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WRIC) - A Louisville high school is discussing updating its nondiscrimination policy to include transgender students and employees, after a male student who identifies as female received permission from the principal to use the girls’ restroom.

On its website, Atherton High School describes itself as “a place where all persons relate to one another with integrity, fairness, and an appreciation for individual differences and worth.” In keeping with this vision, Principal Dr. Tom Aberli is fighting to update the school’s nondiscrimination statement to include transgender individuals.

Last weekend, Dr. Aberli sent home a note to parents outlining his wish to update the policy.

“I’ve accepted the responsibility of assuring that the rights of our transgender population are respected,” Aberli told ABC affiliate WHAS in Louisville. “I want Atherton to be a place that proudly represents how we should operate as a greater society.”

As it stands now, the nondiscrimination policy states, “Atherton High School shall not discriminate in the use of school space on the basis of age, color, religion, disability, marital status, national origin, race, sex, or sexual orientation.”

If approved, the revised policy would include gender identity. But altering the nondiscrimination statement is easier said than done; many Atherton students and parents are outraged at the prospect of bathrooms and locker rooms being used by students of the opposite sex.

In late April, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issued a statement addressing its Title IX programs that extend federal civil-rights protection to transgender students, but the document doesn’t specifically address access to school facilities.

According to USA Today, Aberli has met with seven students who are concerned about the policy change; he said all were respectful. Aberli says the transgender student who brought about this discussion is currently only being allowed to use one of the school’s female facilities while the issue is being addressed.

While many members of the Atherton High community support Dr. Aberli and their transgender classmate, the Alliance Defending Freedom is stepping in to oppose the policy change.

USA Today reports that ADF attorney Clint Elliott urged the Jefferson County Board of Education to fight Aberli’s proposed change, saying it is a violation of parents’ rights regarding the oversight of their children, as well as a violation of students’ privacy rights.

In February 2013, Jeremy Tedesco, ADF legal counsel, also argued against a similar situation at public schools in Massachusetts. He wrote, in part:

“There are so many problems with these new rules I am not sure where to begin. And it will certainly take more than one blog post to address them all. But [let’s] start here: boys changing clothes in girls’ locker rooms and vice versa? How can this be a good idea? Underage indecent exposure is now a social good? Creating an atmosphere that could result in sexual assaults committed by minors is sound educational policy? Things are definitely getting out of control.”

The Alberton High School’s site-based council members are set to discuss altering the school’s nondiscrimination policy on Thursday.



Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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