Transgender bathroom law could impact Mid-Michigan schools - WNEM TV 5

Transgender bathroom law could impact Mid-Michigan schools

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Transgender students across the country received support from the president on Friday.

President Obama released a list of recommended guidelines that schools should follow. Those guidelines could impact schools in Mid-Michigan.

The guidelines explain the schools' obligation to respond promptly to sex-based harassment of all students. It suggests schools should treat students as the gender they identify with.

That also means they should allow students to access sex-segregated facilities that correspond with the gender they identify with and all students' privacy related to their transgender status should be protected.

"It's probably hard already being a transgender and identifying like that," said Payton Schneider, student at Heritage High School.

The students at Heritage said their transgender classmates should be able to use whichever restroom they're most comfortable with.

"It's not really right to think that the transgenders have to, well, it's what they fit in to and depends on the person," said Hayden Bennet, student.

A parent TV5 spoke to also agreed. She hopes there's more LGBT acceptance when her young daughter is old enough for high school.

"The world is changing now and people need to realize that they just need to be more open to change," said Gabrielle Durand, mother.

Not everyone agrees with that sentiment.

"If you're a girl you should go to the girls room and if you're a boy you should go to the boys room," said Mike Gutierrez, father.

One argument was the fear that some students, especially teenagers would abuse this rule.

"I know that there would be guys that would say they identify with a girl and go into the girls room just to be in there and I know it could go the other way too," said Jacob Goodmansen, Midland resident.

Students at Heritage said they don't believe their classmates would abuse the rule that way.

"It's not endangering anyone. It's not a problem and no one else has a problem, so why make it," Schneider said.

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