While the concept of trans students going to public schools continues to mystify so many, the Human Rights Campaign is hoping to clear up some of the confusion with a new guide that points out needs and exceptions in a surprisingly clear, easy to read way.
Will the school be allowing boys in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms and vice versa? No. As always, boys will not be allowed to use girls’ facilities and girls will not be allowed to use boys’ facilities. Nothing in these guidelines allows otherwise. Transgender girls are girls and transgender boys are boys.
Why do transgender students get special accommodations? They are not receiving special accommodations. Every student has the right to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The guidance is making sure schools understand that this is true for transgender students as well as non-transgender students.
“Conversations about transgender students are new for many families, and parents and guardians may have questions about what the Department of Education’s guidance means for their school,” said Ellen Kahn, head of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth and Families Program, in a statement sent along with the resource guide. “This guide was created to help administrators and school board members respond to these questions, while also stressing how these kinds of policies, already in place at many schools, have helped transgender students enormously, and without any negative effect on their non-transgender schoolmates.”
HRC stresses this guide is to help administrators and school officials explain these policies to concerned or confused parents, or provide answers to parents directly. And the core of the guide hopes to reduce the stigma attached to trans students who are already face staggering suicide rates.