Transgender Rights in Schools: The Issue Explained
Imagine not being allowed to use a bathroom because of your identity.
Unfortunately, this is the unfair reality for many transgender students across the country, as issues of gender identity vs. biology persist.
For those unfamiliar with the issue, transgender students across the country want to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, rather than that dictated on their birth certificate.
However, many schools across the country are fighting back, forcing students to use their biologically assigned gender when using the restroom.
No, this does not seem like that big of a deal.
Yes, it is.
Gender identity is a big deal and, especially for those undergoing hormonal changes, using the restroom can become anxiety ridden. Universities typically have communal restrooms, and transgender individuals have enough anxiety in these issues as it is. To now restrict them on which restroom they’re allowed to use is even more confining, and for what purpose?
Many argue that allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify will open the door for problems such as sexual assault and other issues.
But let me ask you this: if someone was going to enter a bathroom to commit such an offense, would it really matter if the school told them they could use that bathroom or not?
No. It wouldn’t.
There’s no invisible line protecting bathrooms from members of the opposite sex. Anyone can walk in at any time, and that isn’t going to change.
The issue here is acceptance and the lack thereof.
Another step back for transgender rights came this week as the U.S. Supreme Court said that it wouldn’t hear Gavin Grimm’s case regarding his ability to use the restroom of his choice. They even “wiped off the books” a lower court ruling that claimed federal law allowed Gavin to utilize the restroom matching his gender identity.
According to Joshua Block, Grimm’s representation, “This is a detour, not the end of the road.”
This is hitting headlines now because the Supreme Court previously agreed to hear the case on the 28th of this month, but Trump made a policy change last month regarding the issue, which affects the lower court’s ruling on the case, as they heavily relied on the earlier version of the policy.
According to Mara Keisling, the executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality, “It’s not a loss, it’s really just a temporary setback.”
According to her, similar cases are being heard throughout the federal courts, so it’s only a matter of time before something positive results.
In the case of Grimm specifically, his legal name change and hormone therapy began following his freshman year, as the female born student began to identify as male.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in his favor, which is why it was expected that his case would be heard by the Supreme Court.
While the principal of the high school originally granted the student permission to use the men’s restroom, the school board soon after implemented a policy regarding bathrooms which limited their use to the students’ biological gender.
Grimm sued. So what was the claim?
It was a pretty fair one. Grimm sued on the grounds of stigmatization and isolation, something the appeals court agreed with.
The appeals court utilized Title IX, which bans sex discrimination, in their verdict.
According to the ruling, “a school generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”
Of course, just last month, the Trump administration rescinded both the above statement and the Obama administration’s warning to schools regarding federal funding and transgender bathroom rights.
So what’s next for Grimm?
His case isn’t over. He’s going to the Fourth Circuit once again, which could send it all the way back to the Virginia trial court.
According to the Gloucester County School Board, it “looks forward to explaining why its commonsense restroom and locker room policy is legal under the Constitution and federal law.”
On the other side, the ACLU isn’t giving up. They stated, “while we’re disappointed that the Supreme Court will not be hearing Gavin’s case this term, the overwhelming level of support shown for Gavin and trans students by people across the country throughout this process shows that the American people have already moved in the right direction and that the rights of trans people cannot be ignored.”
In this day and age, everything is offensive to everyone. Something as simple as which bathroom a student can use turns into a civil rights case.
Wouldn’t it just be easier to be accepting and understanding of the struggles of others, and to implement policies that prevent discrimination?
Decades after the civil rights movement, we shouldn’t still be having this argument.
We’re all going to have to come to terms with the fact that the world is filled with gray area — not everything is going to have a clear-cut answer. The best way to determine what’s best is to consider what the decent thing to do would be.
The bottom line is this: privilege is no excuse for ignorance.
Apply to Write for Uloop NewsJoin the Uloop News Team
Discuss This Article
More Uloop Campus Life Articles
Recent Tufts News Articles
RECENT TUFTS CLASSIFIEDS
WRITE FOR ULOOPApply to Write for Uloop News
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP 5 NEWS ARTICLES
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeBoston CollegeBoston UniversityBrandeis UniversityHarvard UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts-AmherstMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyNortheastern UniversityTufts UniversityClark UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts-LowellUniversity of Massachusetts-BostonWorcester State CollegeBentley CollegeWheaton CollegeMount Holyoke CollegeLesley UniversityHampshire CollegeSuffolk UniversityWestfield State CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts DartmouthWilliams CollegeAmerican International CollegeAmherst CollegeAnna Maria CollegeAssumption CollegeBabson CollegeBay Path CollegeBecker CollegeBerklee College of MusicBoston Architectural CollegeBridgewater State CollegeCambridge CollegeElms CollegeCollege of the Holy CrossCurry CollegeDean CollegeEastern Nazarene CollegeEmerson CollegeEmmanuel CollegeEndicott CollegeFisher CollegeFitchburg State CollegeFramingham State CollegeGordon CollegeGordon-Conwell Theological SeminaryLasell CollegeMassachusetts College of Art and DesignMassachusetts College of Liberal ArtsMassachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health ScienceMassachusetts Maritime AcademyMerrimack CollegeMount Ida CollegeNew England School of LawNewbury CollegeNichols CollegeRegis CollegeSalem State CollegeSimmons CollegeSmith CollegeSpringfield CollegeStonehill CollegeThe New England Institute of ArtUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School WorcesterWellesley CollegeWentworth Institute of TechnologyWestern New England CollegeWestfield State CollegeWheelock CollegeWorcester Polytechnic InstituteAndover Newton Theological SchoolBenjamin Franklin Institute of TechnologyBerkshire Community College Bristol Community College Bunker Hill Community College Cape Cod Community CollegeGreenfield Community College Massachusetts Bay Community CollegeMassasoit Community College Middlesex Community College (MA)Mount Wachusett Community CollegeNorth Shore Community College Northern Essex Community CollegeQuinsigamond Community College Springfield Technical Community CollegeAilano School of CosmetologyAlexander AcademyAssabet Valley Regional Technical SchoolBancroft School of Massage TherapyBay State School of TechnologyBentley UniversityBlackstone Valley Vocational Regional School DistrictBlue Hills Regional Technical SchoolBoston Baptist CollegeBoston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis IncBranford Hall Career Institute-Springfield CampusCatherine Hinds Institute of EstheticsCharles H McCann Technical SchoolConway School of Landscape DesignCortiva Institute-BostonDiGrigoli School of CosmetologyDiman Regional Technical InstituteEINE IncEmpire Beauty School-BostonEmpire Beauty School-FraminghamEmpire Beauty School-HyannisEmpire Beauty School-LowellEmpire Beauty School-MaldenEpiscopal Divinity SchoolEverest Institute-BrightonEverest Institute-ChelseaFINE Mortuary CollegeFranklin W Olin College of EngineeringGreater Lowell Technical SchoolHallmark Institute of PhotographyHellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of TheologyHenris School of Hair DesignHult International Business SchoolITT Technical Institute-NorwoodITT Technical Institute-WilmingtonJolie Hair and Beauty Academy-LudlowJupiter Beauty AcademyLa Baron Hairdressing Academy-BrocktonLa Baron Hairdressing Academy-New BedfordLe Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-CambridgeLincoln Technical Institute-BrocktonLincoln Technical Institute-SomervilleLowell Academy Hairstyling InstituteMansfield Beauty Schools-QuincyMansfield Beauty Schools-SpringfieldMarinello School of Beauty-NorthamptonMassachusetts General Hospital Dietetic InternshipMassachusetts School of LawMedical Professional InstituteMGH Institute of Health ProfessionsMildred Elley-Pittsfield CampusMillennium Training InstituteMontserrat College of ArtMotoring Technical Training InstituteNational Aviation Academy of New EnglandNational Graduate School of Quality ManagementNew England College of Business and FinanceNew England School of AcupunctureNew England Tractor Trailer Training School of MassachusettsNorth Bennet Street SchoolNorthpoint Bible CollegePope St John XXIII National SeminaryPorter and Chester Institute of CantonPorter and Chester Institute of ChicopeePorter and Chester Institute of WestboroughPorter and Chester Institute of WoburnPortfolio Center - WalthamRob Roy Academy-Fall RiverRob Roy Academy-TauntonSalter College-ChicopeeSalter College-West BoylstonSalter School-New BedfordSchool of the Museum of Fine Arts-BostonShawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical SchoolSignature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of NursingSoutheastern Technical InstituteSouthern Worcester County Regional Voc School DistrictSpa Tech Institute-IpswichSpa Tech Institute-PlymouthThe New England Conservatory of MusicToni & Guy Hairdressing Academy-WorcesterUniversity of Phoenix-MassachusettsUrban College of Boston
- By State
- By City