District 211 made the right decision in supporting trans students

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District 211 made the right decision in supporting trans students

Annika Agni, Forum Editor

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District 211 board members recently voted 5-2 on the controversial decision to allow transgender students to have unrestricted access to the locker rooms. Starting second semester, transgender students will no longer be required to use privacy stalls in the locker rooms and will continue to be allowed to use the locker room of the gender that they identify with. With this decision, District 211 has taken a step in the right direction and has given transgender students the rights they deserve.

Restricting access to locker rooms for solely one group of students is discrimination. To suggest otherwise would essentially be saying that it is acceptable for transgender students to be treated separately from others of the gender they identify with and that gender identity counts for nothing.

While some may say that gender is determined biologically at birth and that being transgender is a mental illness,  it has been scientifically proven that this is simply untrue. According to Scientific American, there are multiple studies concerning research in genetics, neurobiology, and endocrinology that prove that trans people are in fact real, and do identify with something other than what their anatomy may suggest. Knowing this, there is nothing to justify treating trans people differently than other cisgendered people of the same gender, and trans students should never have been subjected to this in the first place.

Parents and students have no reason to be concerned. According to the Daily Herald, students will have the opportunity to change in separate, private stalls if they are uncomfortable changing in the presence of transgender students. Additionally, students will only be allowed to use the locker room of the gender that they identify with,  meaning that this policy won’t be abused (for example, boys will not be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom). This new policy is one that protects all students, regardless of gender identity, instead of leaving minorities who are already discriminated against behind.

This policy will hopefully stand as the precedent for other districts in the area and perhaps even the country. Discrimination has no place in schools. Transgender students should have the right to use the locker rooms just as any other student would. With their decision, District 211 has chosen to prioritize equality over discrimination. Because after all, equality is a right, not a privilege.