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How schools maintain equal access

Posted: 7:01 PM, Mar 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-06 20:01:13-05

JENKS, OK (KJRH) — When a student in school is transgender, it can be tricky for teachers to make sure both they and their fellow students are comfortable throughout the school day. A Jenks mom was worried when her child came home concerned about using the bathroom with transgender students, saying her child felt uncomfortable.

When Lisa Marie reached out to the school for answers, she got a reply from the principal.

"While it can appear a delicate balancing act to accommodate and care for such a diverse community," the reply read, "we believe we can do so in a thoughtful and caring way while still ensuring a safe and positive learning environment for all belonging to that community."

The district allows students to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify, but Marie wishes there was an alternate option like a single restroom to ensure every child has their privacy.

"In the case of students who are gender non-conforming, the district develops procedures to meet individual needs," a statement from Jenks Public Schools to 2 Works for You reads. "If a student who is gender non-conforming prefers to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify, the district cannot legally prohibit or restrict that right. We do not view this allowance as a threat to the privacy or safety of other students using the restroom, as all of our restrooms are built to provide for individual privacy. If a student’s privacy or safety were to be jeopardized in the restroom - or within any context in the school setting - we would address the situation immediately."

Marie says parents with young children might not want to introduce them to the subject so early on. That's why she'd prefer that children have another choice.

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