HARTLAND, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Concerned parents and students took to a Hartland schools board meeting Monday to voice their bathroom safety concerns.
Parents say their students feel unsafe when students who are transitioning genders use restrooms of the gender they now identify as.
“Not only can non-transgender students be hurt by this, but also transgender students themselves,” said freshman Anne Marie Yarber at Monday’s school board meeting.
Anne Marie Yarber told the school board it’s a problem that desperately needs a solution.
“I don’t want her to feel unsafe. I want her to feel very safe in her school because she spends a good portion of her life there,” said Anna Marie’s father, Alex Yarber.
At Monday’s school board meeting, several parents raised their concerns to the school board.
CBS News Detroit reached out to the National Center for Transgender Equality and received the following statement:
“Safety and privacy are important to all of us, including transgender youth, who use the bathroom for the same reason as every other student, to take care of their body’s needs. Banning transgender people from freely and safely accessing public places, like bathrooms and changing rooms, can send the message that transgender people don’t belong in our society.
Transgender students simply want to live freely and authentically as themselves, just like every other student. The real challenges facing our children in schools are insufficient funding, lack of resources for educators, food insecurity, and the ongoing epidemic of gun violence and school shootings.
Everybody should be able to safely access public places without fear of persecution or harassment.
It’s reassuring to know that 19 states and over 200 towns have updated these protections with no increase in public safety concerns. Preventing transgender students from using the bathrooms or changing rooms corresponding to the gender they live as every day runs counter to the fundamental democratic values that our society is founded upon.”
“We’re hoping to make sure that that policy is fair and just for all students,” says Glenn Gogoleski, a Hartland schools board trustee.
Gogoleski says he and the board are working on a policy that makes all students feel safe.
“What we’ll do is we’ll try to instill a policy to where we have facilities for both, and hopefully, we’ll take care of it that way.
Gogoleski says the board is drafting a solution to be ready for a vote as soon as December’s board meeting.