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Students in a New Jersey school district will now be allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice thanks to a new policy.
Pascack Valley Regional High School District in Hillsdale voted 6-1 in approval of a policy that gives students the right to choose bathrooms based on their gender identity, Fox5 NY reported. The policy extends the choice to include locker rooms as well as sports teams.
The proposal, approved at a meeting Monday with 100 people in attendance, had come up for a vote before. In February, school officials tabled the issue following apprehension by parents and residents that students who were not transgender would have their privacy and security threatened.
In what seems a confusing defense, the school district apparently dismissed the privacy rights of some students while protecting transgender students’ rights in order to comply with anti-discrimination laws. The policy also requires school staff to address transgender students by their associated names and pronouns, Fox5 reported.
“I think I speak for the majority,” said student Frankie Cascio. “A lot of people don’t know how to feel about this certain situation and I think that it’s a very touchy situation.”
Parents voiced concern over possible fights breaking out and one father wanted to know what was going to be done for the children who are caught up in the debate. “What about the mental distress on all of our children?” he asked. “My child? Nothing’s getting addressed for that.”
The policy was welcomed by others like transgender advocate Hannah Simpson who said, “It’s an affirmation that transgender people exist in our community, that we are great people, that we are human beings and that we’re not some hypothetical that people like to portray as predators, or immoral or perverse.”
Watch the news story in the video below.
The story sparked a heated debate on social media, and Twitter users weighed in mostly in opposition to the policy.
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— Charlie DePrimo (@Charlie4927) April 12, 2016
— robert dubenezic (@dubenezic) April 12, 2016
@Fox5Teresa Whats to stop a male student from putting on a dress and going into the girls bathroom to do god knows what.
— john pruchnick (@kielbasakid44) April 12, 2016
@Fox5Teresa Schools need to teach. Not try to figure out the future correctness! Parents shut up and Wake up. Your kids. Do your job!
— Biagio (@BiagioTripodi) April 12, 2016
@Fox5Teresa its ridiculous. Schools need to worry about teaching, and not what gender kids identify with.
— Lisa (@Lisa6264) April 12, 2016
— Zeno (@surtsey55) April 12, 2016
@Fox5Teresa nice to support the Trans but the door has been opened. Affirmation = continual new demands .
— Rob (@owroc) April 12, 2016
— Broadway Blue (@BroadwayBlueNYC) April 12, 2016
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