One Texas mother is fighting for her transgender five-year-old to use the girls’ bathrooms when the child begins kindergarten this fall, local news outlets report.
Kai Shappley of Pearland, Texas was born a male but has identified as a girl since age three, Kai’s mother, Kim Shappley, told the local school board Tuesday night.
“Please understand I’m not fighting about bathrooms. I’m fighting about her life, I’m fighting about her well-being, I’m fighting for her happiness, I’m fighting for her future,” Shappley told the school board, according to KPRC.
“Every person that has a degree who has studied this says that it is wrong to tell my child for anyone to tell my child that she cannot use the facility that aligns with the gender she identifies with,” she said.
A May article from the Houston Chronicle states that Kai was born “Joseph Paul” before transitioning to life as a female.
Joseph Paul’s transition into “Kai” reportedly began at age three when he expressed his desire to wear a bow in his hair. “I want a bow like Daisy,” he told his mother.
Pearland Independent School District officials told Shappley that Kai could not use the girls’ bathroom because the child is still legally a boy. The district put out a statement saying they have private, single-user bathrooms available for transgender students who don’t feel comfortable in the biologically-correct facility.
“Pearland ISD’s stance on transgender students remains children whose parents declare them transgender must go to the bathroom for the sex indicated on their birth certificate. Such students have also been allowed to use a private bathroom (such as in the nurse’s station) if they are so inclined,” the statement read. “All Pearland ISD kindergarten classrooms have a private, gender-neutral bathroom within the classroom for student use.”
Shappley, however, wants Kai to be able to use the same bathroom as the biological females in the class.
Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has opposed allowing biological male students to use the girls’ bathrooms at school. “How about all the parents that are speaking out and say, ‘Wait a minute, you’re picking on my kids. My daughter wants to go to the restroom without a boy walking in’ or vice versa,” he told the Chronicle.
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