OPINION: Transgender Bathrooms Are Needed in Schools


Julia Reagan

On May 12, a letter from the Obama administration was sent to all public school districts directing them to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

Though this letter is not a law, if schools do not comply, the federal government could  sued school districts for violating students civil rights. The secretary of the Department of Education said, “We must ensure that our young people know whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence”

It is extremely important for these protesters against transgender rights to remember that all people should be treated with respect. The worst  possible thing to do to a teenager or anyone is to make them feel like they are different from everyone else that they have to do something different. The bills that have been passed are oppressive, and are aimed to make people feel badly about themselves. America is supposed to be home of the free and a place where no one should be afraid to express themselves, not a place where people have to fear being arrested for using a bathroom that identifies with who they are.

According to historians, bathroom privacy has been an issue since the creation of public bathrooms. It used to be unladylike for a woman to speak, let alone use a public bathroom. Before the late 1960’s, African American people could not use the same bathroom as white people.

Our society has used bathrooms to single out and make others feel different.  Even today in 2016, we are still trying to place restrictions on who can use the bathroom, this time because of their sexual identity. Because some people are not comfortable with transgender people, they are trying to oppress them and make them do things they are not comfortable with.

Senior Dan Wadsworth said, “This letter is a very positive thing for a leader to do. Obama is setting an example for people to follow. Bathrooms should be for everyone and nobody should feel discriminated against.”

The letter from President Obama is a great step in the right direction, yet people’s actions in many states are not. Many transgender people have been humiliated in public, home, and at school for their identity, they should not have another burden placed on their shoulders.