Gender Identity and Expression
Deep inside the young minds of our students are the seeds of growth and responsibility. They would like to foresee themselves as being productive and effective members of their community and our society. Parents and guardians of our young adolescents have profound provision of commitment of guiding and supporting them to reach their greatest potentials and significance to the nation. They offer their limitless and boundless care during the most precarious stage of being an adolescent; their identity and development into adulthood. Our children capture their learning from their parents and others that surround them.
Some of our young adolescents encounter confusions about gender identity and expression. They manifest bewilderment in the manner they present and engage themselves since all of these depend on our gender identity and expression. Thus, the perception of our transgender students is often disoriented by this reality. During this realization, the family support and encouragement of a transgender is of highest importance and extremely necessary. Who is a transgender person? What it really means to be a transgender? According to Wikipedia, transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another. There are young individuals who feel that their masculinity or femininity does not equal or match their sex. In other words, they feel different inside. In order for them to feel the wholeness of themselves, they exhibit their gender identities in many ways such as the way they dress, how they behave, and their movement are very distinct. With these manifestations, they feel it is right for them to live this way.
Just like everybody else, our government has created laws to protect the transgender students from discrimination, bullying, and harassment. There are states and local laws that specifically embrace these laws to bar discrimination against them.
The Transgender Bathroom Policy is an issue that directly confounds to the various bathroom bills designed to address access to public toilets (restrooms), especially amongst transgender individuals. In essence, the laws influence the right of entry to sex-segregated public facilities amongst individuals on basis of sex determination as defined in some given manner, for instance, their sex as assigned at birth, sex as indicated in their birth certificate, or as sex corresponds to their gender identity (Duchesneau, 2017). For that reason, stakeholders at both school and district levels have worked elaborately to create gender-inclusive school environments. The Transgender Bathroom Policy is one of the products of such initiatives. The Board of Education of Marionville R-9 School District in Marionville, MO believes that all students are entitled to a quality education in a safe environment. Their principle encompasses to their increasing number of transgender students. The school district seeks to fully serve and stabilize the privacy, welfare, well-being, and safety needs of both the transgender students and their parents/guardians.
Furthermore, the policy fits into the category of Title IX, the 1972 Federal Law that bans sex discrimination within schools (Duchesneau, 2017). To be precise, the law applies to all schools funded by federal money. This includes nearly all public schools. Subsequently, state laws and school district policies in major parts of the country are also designed in a manner that clearly protects transgender students from discrimination. Indeed, there have been challenges in the implementation of the law and subsequent policies amongst public institutions. Clearly, proper implementation of the law and the various related policies presents enormous benefits not only within the schools but also the wider community.
Most notably, it enables major stakeholders in the sector to meet the needs of the students and ensure that they are capable of making best out of their academic endeavors (Duchesneau, 2017). In addition, observing Transgender Bathroom Policy that is consistent with gender identity promotes positive school experiences and apart from fostering transgender students’ academic achievements and growth it also enhances their long-term health and well-being. However, inadequately crafted policies are subject to lots of inefficiencies and to some extent psychological and even physical harm to the transgender students. In that regard, schools are highly advised to operate with the stipulated federal laws, for instance, the Title IX in enacting their policies and in this case the Transgender Bathroom Policy.
In general terms, the Transgender Bathroom Policy within district schools and other public utilities has its own benefits and similarly related drawbacks. For instance, apart from enhancing positivity amongst the stakeholders involves, the policy is equally instrumental in promoting inclusivity for everyone regardless of their orientations (Duchesneau, 2017). In essence, the contemporary world has highly been influenced by diversity and therefore everyone should be made to feel that they fit in areas they deem to be satisfied.
Additionally, the policy works to ensure the eradication of gender segregation which in an actual sense has similar repercussions to other forms of isolations. Lastly, but not the least, transgender bathroom policy is basically one way of increasing safety for everyone and in this case one should always feel safe when using the washrooms (Duchesneau, 2017). Furthermore, this is one way of reducing suicide and homicide amongst the transgendered individuals who in one way or the other feel segregated in their own environments.
On the other hand, the existence of the neutral bathrooms may in several ways threaten the safety of both the transgendered individuals and others. Mostly, this is witnessed through some forms of bullying from their fellow classmates and to a certain extent their teachers. In addition, the existence of such bathrooms may cost the space and finances of a given institution all in the name of satisfying only a few characters in the entire institution (Duchesneau, 2017).
Indeed, the topic of bathroom bills has increasingly become a heated debate in the entire country. Inasmuch as the federal government tries to protect the rights of the transgendered individuals, state governments have greatly differed on the issue with the majority supporting cultural aspects related to gender perspectives. For instance, the state of Mississippi in 2016 came out clear in the definition of man and woman hence making it a matter of law on identifications of anatomy and genetics determined at the time of birth (Grinberg & Stewart, 2017). Without a doubt, this raised lots of controversies across the divides especially on the perception of gender identity.
Nonetheless, as of early 2017, 18 states, the District of Columbia and over 200 municipalities had anti-discrimination laws and other regulations permitting transgender individuals to use public utilities corresponding to their gender identity (Grinberg & Stewart, 2017). In essence, one of the major setbacks behind the inclusion of gender-neutral utilities has been linked to issues of safety whereby it is suspected that sexual predators may take advantage of the provision to attack unsuspecting victims. This has however not been the case as it is considered that such laws have been in existence for a long time and no attacks have ever been reported in the view of the policies.
We are all created equal. However, we all also have variety of thoughts, views, beliefs, and ideas. This is where the frustration concerning transgender bathroom policy emanates. Ongoing disputes and arguments continue to smear the significance of the issue to education. Transgender bathroom policy is now considered to be a vital issue in education due to its complexity. Some of us embraces the importance of it and others are against it. We all yearn for equality and parity. The evidence of diversity in our education system confirms that we need to have a longer stride to move past placing people into categories and grasp with deep understanding of its full acceptance into our ever-changing society.