Equity & Diversity

School Board Members Quit After Protests of Transgender Student’s Bathroom Use

By Evie Blad — September 10, 2015 1 min read
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Three members of the seven-member school board in Hillsboro, Mo., resigned this morning following a controversy over the district’s decision to allow a transgender student to use girls’ restrooms and locker rooms.

Two board members did not cite reasons for their resignations, and a third cited “strained philosophical differences,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The student at the center of the controversy, Lila Perry, 17, was born male but began publicly identifying as female in February, I wrote last week. School leaders cleared her to use girls’ facilities at the beginning of the school year.

Last week, more than 100 of Perry’s classmates walked out of class to protest the decision outside of her school. A smaller group of students protested in support of Perry.

As I wrote last week, accommodating transgender students is unfamiliar territory for many school officials. Many see allowing transgender students to use staff or single-stall restrooms as an acceptable compromise, but transgender-student advocates have said that unnecessarily stigmatizes students. Perry herself has said that solution is unacceptable.

Further reading on transgender and LGBT student issues:

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.