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Why Grass Lake schools chose to let a transgender student use the boys' bathroom

Oct 16, 2017

People in Grass Lake, in Jackson County, are arguing about their school district’s decision to allow a transgender boy in elementary school to use the boys’ restroom.

The district has plans to build privacy stalls around urinals in school buildings.

Supporters and opponents of the policy, including people who don’t live in Grass Lake, have been showing up at school board meetings even when the issue isn’t on the agenda. 

Many have strong feelings one way or the other about the decision.

Ryle Kiser, superintendent of Grass Lake Community Schools, joined Stateside today to explain how the district arrived at its decision.

He says the district will follow school board policy, which says schools won't discriminate against anyone, including transgender students, until the Supreme Court has issued a final decision on the issue.

“And that means that the transgender students are going to have the opportunity to use the bathroom of their gender identity," he said.

An out-of-state group has suggested the Grass Lake school board misinterpreted a federal court decision. The group notes that President Donald Trump’s administration has rescinded federal guidance that protected transgender students.

Kiser says the district's attorney disagrees with that claim. And he adds that while President Trump  did rescind federal guidance from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, “he does not have the power to rescind court decisions.”

Listen above for the full conversation.

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