The Vancouver school board just recently proposed a law that would allow transgender students to be accommodated in the classroom more easily. Some of the regulations that the school board hopes to implement include the installment of transgender washrooms and the freedom for the student to choose between sex-education curriculums geared towards their biological sex, or their gender identity. For the most part these changes sound like they will be beneficial, but you could criticize the school-board’s desire for separate washrooms. The regulations do at least prohibit faculty from encouraging the transgender individuals to question their identity, which should help assuage some of the alienation that the separate facilities could lead to. Bathroom access has created controversy in LouisevilleKY, recently leading the adjustments in the wording of non-discrimination policies to explicitly include transgender individuals. Frankly it seems like bathroom stalls already do enough to separate people in the bathroom, and maybe policy changes such as the Louiseville one would be more effective in helping transgender students integrate at school.
The policy adjustments so far are small, but they are a step in the right direction for transgender people who are often regarded as confused or desperate for attention. The essential next step in integrating transgender individuals is school-wide awareness. Efforts need to be made to quell harassing remarks, and the issue of violence against transgender students should not be relegated to the shadows. Services that assist transgender students in cultivating a sense of self-acceptance and a feeling of belonging also need to be incorporated into school systems in order for these integration difficulties to be combatted.
Dr. M. Mirza, LGBT Health Wellness – 2014