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Policy to make trans students use staff toilets faces opposition in Michigan

Joseph McCormick April 12, 2017

A policy which means trans students are only allowed to use staff restrooms or gender-neutral toilets is facing opposition in Michigan.

The American Civil Liberties Union in the state objects to the policy by the Jenison district.

Although it allows trans students to use a gender-neutral or staff bathroom, it does not allow them to use facilities not matching their gender assigned at birth.

According to the Grand Rapids Press, the students, according to Tom TenBrink, the Ottawa County district superintendent, are treated with “sensitivity and dignity”.

The ACLU in the state has written a letter in protest against the policy.

The letter, written by attorney Miriam Aukerman, says the policy is discriminatory and should be changed.

She writes that trans girls should be allowed to use girls’ restrooms and trans boys should be afforded the right to use boys’ facilities.

The issue of transgender bathroom use has sparked fierce debate and legislation across the US, as well as a federal government response.

The Trump administration earlier this year officially revoked guidance protecting transgender students in public schools.

The guidelines had been introduced by the Obama administration, but were rescinded by the White House in February.

In early March it was announced that the Supreme Court would not go ahead with a planned hearing on transgender rights, in light of the Trump administration’s removal of key protections.

The highest court in the US had been set to hear the case of Virginian trans teen Gavin Grimm, whose school ordered him to use a toilet that corresponds with his “biological gender”.

The teen appeared at the US Congress earlier this week, taking aim at President Trump, and his administration, for a policy which rolled back guidance in favour of trans teens introduced under the Obama administration.

More: Michigan, US

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