Education

Pittsburgh Ignores Public Outcry, Passes Transgender Bathroom Bill

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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The Pittsburgh Public Schools District instated a transgender bathroom policy Wednesday that would allow transgender students to use whatever bathroom they want, despite public opposition to the policy.

[dcquiz] The nine member school board unanimously voted to implement a policy that would allow transgender students to use the bathroom according to their gender identity, reports CBS Pittsburgh. The policy may be in place by this coming fall.

“It really protects all students and affirms identities of particularly transgender, gender expansive students. And it really allows them to fully participate in their education,” said Vanessa Davis, who had a hand in writing the policy, to CBS Pittsburgh.

Cynthia Falls, a District 7 board member, told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that people who opposed the policy were not given enough time to voice their concerns with the policy.

“I know there were public hearings and forums and stuff, but I don’t believe the forums were equal. I am voting yes because it was a federal regulation … But I think we need to do due diligence to people who have different viewpoints, ” Falls said.

Cletus Marie Abate, a parent, told CBS Pittsburgh that she is concerned about a feature in the policy that allows schools to keep a student’s transgender identity hidden from their parents. Under the policy, if a student tells the school about his transgender identity, the school does not have to tell the parents unless the student okays it or if there is a legal reason.

“I’m disappointed that the board didn’t take the request that we felt that we needed more discussion. The policy needed revision and clarification. I feel that the school district has to work in the best interest of all students in the district and not have a selective agenda,” Abate aid to CBS Pittsburgh.

Also under the policy, transgender students can compete in sports according to the gender they identify with. Schools will also create “point teams” which will teach students who have questions about “gender identity and expression.”

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Amber Randall