Chicago public school system to allow bathroom access based on gender identity
May 04, 2016 05:05 AM EDT
The issue of the use of bathrooms based on gender identification has been a national issue among schools across the country. In lieu with this, the Chicago public school system has already allowed transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms according to their preferred gender identity.
Supporters of lesbian, gays and transgender rights have voiced out their concerns about the issue. This has moved the third largest US public school system to support legislations over equality on privacy and religious freedom as per the Business Insider.
School agencies like the New York City Department of Education and the Los Angeles Unified School District have already allowed bathroom choices for transgender students. Chicago, on the other hand, has been more aware of the issue more than anyone.
Janice Jackson, the Chief Education Officer, said the CPS guidelines are crucial in order for them to reflect their commitment to promote safe and inclusive schools.
As reported by USA Today, students as well as employees of the Chicago school district, which is composed of 392,000 students and 660 schools, will now have access to restrooms and locker rooms that corresponds to their gender identity. The school regulation also stated that anyone who wants more privacy regardless of the reason will have a free access to a single stall when it is available.
It was just last March when North Carolina enacted a law that forces transgender people to use restrooms in schools and in other buildings based on their sexual identity via birth. The law has drawn massive criticisms from known entertainers and corporations. Supporters of the legislation, however, said that the law will further protect privacy rights of women and children as well as protect them from sexual predators.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the guidelines in Chicago has landed amidst a national uproar over restroom access for transgender and gender nonconforming people. This has started a debate in the Republican presidential race, religious disputes and federal legal battles in suburban Palatine.
The new guidelines will now allow students to participate in school programs which include overnight field trips and sexual health classes that correspond to their gender preference. The guidelines will also allow students to dress the way they prefer based on their gender identity.