Lakota Local School District votes against transgender bathroom inclusion policy

Published December 12, 2017

Rumble The Lakota Local School board Monday night voted 3-2 against a proposed policy its president said would help all students feel "welcomed and supported" by allowing them to use the bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. "This is by no means over," Lakota High School teacher Emily Osterling said. "Transgender students are not going away." For transgender students, using gender-separated school bathrooms and locker rooms can be an experience poisoned by anxiety. Using the bathroom corresponding to the sex they were assigned at birth can contribute to irreparable psychological damage, but some state legislatures and school districts -- like, now, Lakota Local Schools -- have passed or considered policies that would prevent them from using the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity and presentation. The argument made by proponents of "bathroom bills" is that transgender people present a safety risk to other bathroom users despite the fact that few to no incidents of a transgender person attacking another in a bathroom has ever been recorded. Transgender people are, according to the Human Rights Campaign, far more likely to be the victims of violence and harassment than the perpetrators.