Beyond the bathroom: Transgender student, educators discuss school complications

HB2Today, North Carolina officials are awaiting a decision from a federal judge on whether the state’s mega-controversial bathroom law, House Bill 2, will be allowed to stand with a full trial still pending.

But a recent video compilation from Education Week illustrates how complicated the issue really is for transgender students in U.S. schools today, with many states, including North Carolina, challenging federal officials’ declaration that schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.

One thing is clear: The debate is about more than bathrooms.

From Education Week:

While much of the public focus has been on the bathrooms and locker rooms transgender students are allowe dto use the students themselves say belonging at school after a gender transition involves a muuch broader array of issues such as having teachers and peers change the pronouns and names they use, and acceptance of new dress and hair styles.

“Being trans is about so so much more than the bathroom issue,” Kentucky student Maddie Dalton told our Education Week team when we profiled her in a piece for PBS NewsHour earlier this year.

While some schools are awaiting further legal clarity before they change their policy, some have already done so.

Dalton’s high school in Louisville worked with her to adjust its policy when she began identifying as female. Because Dalton, her teacher and her principal all had such interesting personal insights on the experience, we’ve compiled this interaction collection of bonus videos that may help educators and administrators understand the transgender student experience. They include Dalton’s thoughts on her own transition, insights from a teacher who leads her school’s Gay Straight Alliance, an explanation from her principal of the school’s policy changes and our original PBS NewsHour piece.




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