Trans Bathroom Conversation Hits VT Schools

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“When Governors sign into law bills that actively discriminate against people, promote hatred against other classes of people, it’s up to other Governors to say that’s not okay,” Gov. Peter Schumlin said.

Vermont’s Governor, along with his New York counterpart, are at odds with North Carolina Governor Patt McCrory – condeming a recent bill barring transgender people from using public bathrooms that correspond to the gender they identify as.

“Unless it’s absolutely essential, state employees no need to do your business in that state. Go to a state that doesn’t hate,” Gov. Schumlin said.

The conversation has made its way to the Green Mountain State. The Agency of Education sent out best practices for schools wen it comes to the issue.

“You know this school is such a great place to transition because everyone is so sweet and so kind.”

These polices matter for students, including Marcus Pizer at South Burlington High School.

“It’s a really hard thing to accept,” Pizer said.

A year ago, he told his parents he no longer wanted to be called Molly.

“I didn’t feel right in my body, I wasn’t meant to be a girl,” Pizer said.

Under Vermont law, places of public accommodation can’t refuse anyone based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. South Burlington High School has had gender neutral bathrooms for over a decade. Pizer says privacy means everything for the transition.

“If you’re starting to think about it now, think about how long you haven’t known as well. A lot of people pass very well,” Pizer said.

And he applauds Governor Schumlin for standing up for Vermonters just like him. 

The Agency of Education says they sent out the guidelines as a framework for schools who are asking more and more questions for accommodating trans students. The agency says every student deserves to feel safe and supported in school, so they can succeed.

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