Transgender students: Locker room & bathroom policies

Apr 26, 2016

A U.S. Court of Appeals decision issued last week a first of its kind ruling says it is sex discrimination to bar students from using a bathroom that matches their gender identity. The court sided with a Virginia student, Gavin Grimm, who was born a girl, but now identifies as a boy. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley recently talked about transgender issues with some Cheektowaga Central High School students who weighed in on the use of restrooms.

Cheektowaga Central High School.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“It’s not like she’s looking at us or anything. Like we could be changing and she'll like have a normal conversation. It’s just nothing,” said Cheektowaga High School senior Kenetria Redfern.

Redfern takes gym with DJ Morley at her high school.  Morley, once a boy, has transformed into a female and identify herself as transgender. The Cheektowaga Central School Board approved a gender identify policy back in January.  That policy allows transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room that is consistent with their gender identity.

Student Redfern said she has no problem with Morley in the girls’ locker room or bathroom.

“It’s not that big of a deal because she is a girl. She’s attracted to boys,” explained Redfern.  

Senior Tatyana Moses agrees with her classmate, and although she said it is against her own religion to become transgender, she doesn't object to Morley in the ladies room at school.

“Based on my religion, it isn’t right to do things like that, but I don’t judge her based off of that. I don’t think it is that big of a deal. She’s not doing anything to me,” said Moses.

Cheektowaga Senior Daja'vu Romer also has gym class with Morley.

“She’s trying to find a balance of like respecting us females at the school,” said Romer.

Romer is actually more concerned about Morley's safety when it comes to using the girls’ locker room or ladies room.

“Her changing with the females, I feel like it is safer for her then changing with the guys, because I feel like guys come off more aggressive.  She also goes to the ladies room, but she don’t choose to go to into the girls’ room at school, she goes to the nurse, but then in gym, you kind of got to change in the locker room,” noted Romer.  

Other area school districts are also adopting similar policies. Last December the Hamburg School District adopted a policy allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms.