MCPS, WMHS stand by Obama’s order on transgender bathroom use
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He’s back at it again.
President Donald Trump withdrew President Barack Obama’s executive order that students could use whichever gender-separated public facility that they identified with. Now, it is up to the states to decide which bathroom one has to use.
This is particularly harmful to the genderqueer* community. “I would feel terrible having to deal with that from my parents, but now it’s like school, the only place you felt safe, is being ripped away,” sophomore Selena Adams said.
“Just working up the courage to walk into the bathroom that you identify as is already difficult enough,” sophomore Genevieve Seldin said. “The fact that the law was put in place builds up on that pressure and all that work that you’ve gone through to actually do this, it sort of dissipates.”
Many people feel this is a direct attack on a vulnerable minority group. “I do believe this is an important topic for discussion,” LGBTQA club sponsor Scott Tarzwell said. “However, with the current president less than a hundred days in, and he’s tackling this? When there are so many other bigger issues, I see this as nothing but an attack on a minority, which seems to be his only focus.”
Montgomery County Public Schools took action immediately, sending out a message stating: “It is important that all staff members and students recognize and respect matters of gender identity including students who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming, and such students should feel comfortable expressing their gender identity.”
“As a [school] system, and at Watkins Mill High School, we will continue to support the safety and security of all our students. Discrimination, stigmatization, and bullying will not be tolerated at Watkins Mill High School,” principal Carol Goddard said.
“I think it’s really about being out there,” Seldin said. “There are a lot of people who are looking at what’s happening and wanting to back down. Like at my synagogue, during Hanukkah, people didn’t want to put up decorations, but my rabbi said ‘No, we will keep putting up stuff, if anything we will put up more stuff.’ He’s saying we need to be out there, and I agree with that because it shows that we won’t back down.”
Regardless of the law, students are hopeful and are staying optimistic. “I hope we can get over this and I think we will,” sophomore Kevin Truong said. “I will do what I can to help.”
*genderqueer: denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.