EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

School board meeting grows heated amid talks of transgender bathrooms

Sep 27, 2023, 7:07 AM | Updated: 2:20 pm

Jordan School District (KSL-TV)...

Jordan School District (KSL-TV)

(KSL-TV)

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — A meeting between parents and school administrators at the Jordan School District became heated Tuesday night. Tensions arose after the topic of transgender students and bathrooms came up.

Jessie Sirivanchai said their transgender daughter is treated differently for using the girl’s bathroom.

“She’s not looking to hurt anybody else’s children. And if they spent time with her, they would know her humanity,” said Sirivanchai.

Sirivanchai’s daughter said she just wants a space where she can be herself. 

Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline spoke out against transgender students using the bathrooms that align with their gender identity saying, “One Truth is that boys are boys and girls are girls.” Cline stated that she was not representing the board with her statements but the principles she ran on.

The issue of who uses which bathrooms rarely comes up among kids in schools said transgender advocate with Equality Utah, Sue Robins.

“What we find, largely, across all of our experiences with schools is that kids really don’t care,” Robins told KSL NewsRadio.

And Robins said she rejects comments made at the meeting, that the transgender child who attends school in the Jordan District, is a danger to other girls in her class.

During the meeting, Cline said the school district should not prioritize one student over all the others. Other board members argued they are responsible to all students.

According to the school district, allowing students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity is allowed under Title IX. That same law prohibits discrimination and harassment related to gender identity in schools.

Hugo Ricard Bell contributed to the reporting of this story.

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School board meeting grows heated amid talks of transgender bathrooms