Georgia School Faces Scrutiny For Not Allowing Transgender Student To Use Boys’ Bathroom
It can remember what the first day of school was like when I was 7. I was terrified even though I already knew all of the kids in my class and had been in school with a lot of them since pre-school. The beginning of the school year is hard for a lot of kids, but I can't imagine what it was like for this little boy in Georgia.
The little boy, simply known as D, was born a girl, but has been living his life as a boy for the last year. The boy's father is also a female-to-male transgender person. Last year, D was homeschooled, as his parents thought that it would be best.
But this school year, little D was actually excited to start a public school education. He was excited to make friends and spend time in an actual classroom. He was excited for recess. However, little D won't know what that's like. At least not this school year. At least not at Todd Grant Elementary School
One of the big questions that D's parents had before even enrolling him in school was "Which bathroom should D use?". In order to get things settled before the school year started, D's father Tommy Theolynn went to see his son's teacher at Todd Grand Elementary school to figure everything out. He explained that D, who was born a girl, had decided to live as a boy.
Theolynn says that he was told that his son could use either restroom as long as no other students were in there. And while that was not the ideal circumstance, he accepted them as they were. He says he wanted his child to be able to have a public school experience.
Well, things didn't go as planned. When D's mother walked him to his class the first day of school, she was informed that he would only be allowed to use the girls' bathroom. When D's parents tried to resolve the issue with the Superintendent of schools, he threatened to call Social Services on them. The next day, D was pulled from school by his parents due to a concern for his safety.
Words have been exchanged on both sides, and now D's father has started an online petition to get the school to change its policy.
The petition, on Change.org, has already received nearly 41,000 votes.
In the petition, Tommy Theolynn explains the situation and states:
All students-- regardless of age, race, ethnicity, ability, size, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and gender identity-- have to use the bathroom. Logically, it follows that all students need safe and appropriate access to bathroom facilities in school settings.
My child is transgender; put simply this means he looks like and identifies as a boy, but has the body parts assigned to girls. Forcing him to use a bathroom that does not match his presentation effectively discloses his status as a transgender child and thus endangers him.
Many people in support of this petition have said that the superintendent of schools is in violation of the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Public Law 111-84) which includes provisions for the protection of rights for transgendered individuals.