Students Shocked Over Transgender Law Change, But Principal Franklin Reassuring About Safety
by Caroline Wisner
On Wednesday, Feburary 22nd, the Trump administration rescinded the directive from the Obama era that required schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
This is not only a shock to the trans community, but a threat to their safety and mental health. Being able to use the bathroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity is an integral part of trans students’ mental health and wellbeing.
Some Walkersville High School students feel this decision compromises the equality between themselves and their trans peers. “The decision definitely is extremely unfair to them [trans students],” said freshman Imani Campbell.
Other WHS students expressed pure outrage at the decision, “What the [blank]?!” exclaimed junior Alexis Brunnelson when informed of the details of the presidential nullification.
Luckily the decision will not yet impact trans students at WHS, “At this time nothing will change, because the provisions in place right now still allow students to use their preferred bathroom,” said Walkersville High School Principal Tracey Franklin on the subject of changes in trans students’ rights at WHS.
Franklin also spoke about the safety of trans students as well as those who have objections to these students, “I ensure all students safety, trans or not — every child here has to be safe. We will protect both trans students and students who have reservations due to personal reasons,” said Franklin.
Senior McKinley Ireland believes this basic right of trans students should not be a political or governmental issue, “I don’t even think it should be political, The government shouldn’t have a say in what bathroom people can use,” said Ireland.
Any trans students who feel scared have a safe space at WHS if they need it. Students who need support can join the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (speak to World Language teacher Elizabeth Marsh in portable six) which meets almost every Friday. Anything said will be kept private and stay within the group.
One extremely helpful resource is the Transgender Lifeline which can be reached at 877-565-8860. The Lifeline is staffed by trans good samaritans who can offer support and resources to other trans people who are feeling scared or depressed.
For further resources and help you can visit http://www.transstudent.org/sites