LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – At a time when there is a nationwide conversation happening about transgender individuals and which bathroom they should use, the School District of Lancaster has come up with their own guidelines.
Following three years of conversation, school administrators adopted guidelines which say transgender and non-binary students can use the bathroom with which they gender identify.
Dr. Arthur Abrom, the director of student services, said transgender students pushed for the newly established guidelines.
“It satisfies their need for voice,” he told ABC27 News. “It also brings a level of comfort to them. The most important thing is that we establish a safe, a non-discriminatory environment for all of our students.”
The guidelines, which were adopted Tuesday night, also suggest that students can participate on sports teams that correspond to their gender identity.
Abrom said students are not allowed to change gender on a whim. He also said he the guidelines will keep some students safe.
“Statistics show that students who are either gay, lesbian, or transgender are bullied more often,” Abrom said. “[That] is why we’re putting these guidelines in place.”
The new guidelines come a little more than a month after President Obama’s administration pushed for more policies for transgender students.
Other schools including the Harrisburg School District and the Derry Township School District told ABC27 News they have an anti-discriminatory policy in place, but nothing so extensive.
Diwud Morrow, who has a boy in the School District of Lancaster, said he has no issue with the new guidelines.
“It gives the child the opportunity to know that the school district cares for them,” he said.
Abrom echoed those same sentiments.
“We want all of our students to come every day ready to learn and not anxious or worried about how they might be seen or treated,” he said.
Abrom said the district didn’t decide on the guidelines as policy because they want to have flexibility on the issue as it continues to evolve.