POTUS directs school districts to allow transgender students in bathroom of their gender identity

The White House issued a directive to all public school districts with guidelines on allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

“Often what we experience as trans people is people trying to push us back into closets and, in this way, it feels very much like the President has opened the door and said, ‘No, you come out of there. You're one of us,’” said Out Youth Programs Director Kathryn Gonzales.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he is against the plan and students in Texas will only use the bathroom which correlates to their gender at birth.

"I believe it is the biggest issue facing families and schools in America since prayer has been taken out of school.  He has set a policy in place that will divide the country, not along political lines, but along family values and school districts," said Patrick.

The issue began making headlines when conservative states like North Carolina began creating legislation aimed at regulating which restrooms transgender citizens can use.

Conservatives argue without these laws sexual predators can enter restrooms of their choice to find victims.

“If you associate that group with my community it's an insult,” said transgender adult Xiaomin Xue.

“Trans youth by and large are experiencing more discrimination and harassment in schools. What we're finding, at least locally by anecdotal evidence, is that it's not so much their peers, it's that trans youth are impacted by policies enacted by adults,” said Gonzales.

Those against the law point out there are no laws barring sex offenders from entering bathrooms. They’re calling this nothing more than politicians using fear to discriminate. 

“This is dangerous because it calls attention to a community that's already marginalized and attacked and victimized,” said Gonzales.

Texas public schools have never had a directive on how to handle transgender students who want to use the bathroom of their gender identity until now.

“Most school districts handle these issues on a case by case basis,” said Texas Association of School Boards Legal Director Joy Baskin. 

“Using the bathroom has always been a struggle for me even before I transitioned. Even before I knew what being transgender is, even when I was identifying as a woman, whenever I would use a public restroom I would still get verbally harassed, physically assaulted, even as a kid,” said Xue.

If Texas schools do not allow a transgender student to use the bathroom or locker room of their gender identity, a complaint can be issued with the Department of Education and federal funding can be removed.

“In Texas he can keep his 30 pieces of silver.  We will not yield to blackmail from the President,” said Patrick.
               
“Penalizing all of the school children in Texas for a small groups misguided attempt to legislate people's bodies is unfair and inhumane,” said Gonzales. 

On average about 15 percent of Texas public schools' budget comes from federal funding.

Transgender people in Texas said they hope the political battle doesn't discourage others from transitioning.

“Fight the battle because in the end it's just so much worth it when you are yourself. It's just all the struggle that I went through, all the pain, I couldn't think of any other way to live than to be genuinely myself,” said transgender adult Micah Rodriguez.
 

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