“I believe if you have the male parts you go to the males’ bathroom.”
A fight over transgender students’ rights at a Iowa high school reached a tipping point last Thursday as groups of opposing students walked out in protest, according to a NBC 6 report.
The walkout started after a student claimed her privacy was being violated by a fellow student, who identifies as a girl, using the female restroom.
According to NBC 6, the walkout began at about 10:30 a.m. with students separating into two groups. One group of about 20 students chanted for privacy in the restrooms and against transgender students being allowed to use the girls’ bathroom.
Another group of about 40 students streamed out in opposition to the first, chanting in favor of the transgender student’s right to use the restroom of their choice.
Brandi Scherlund, a student at the school, said she believes people should use the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender.
“I believe if you have the male parts you go to the males’ bathroom and if you have the female parts you go to a ladies room and that’s just the way I was raised,” Scherlund said.
Another student, Elena Owens, alleged the male wasn’t even truly attempting to be transgender.
“We felt very uncomfortable with a male who’s not doing anything to be transgender going into the female restrooms,” Owens said.
Atop a hill close to the building, the other group held signs and chanted in support of transgender rights. According to NBC 6, they were unable to get comments from that group.
Superintendent Dr. Vickie Murillo said state law requires the school to allow students to use the restroom that corresponds with their preferred gender.
“According to the U.S. Department of Education, which Iowa has adopted that same language and is now a part of our state law, our students who are transitioning into a new gender have the right to use the restroom that they identify. So it is our obligation to allow that to occur,” Murillo told NBC 6.
Debate about over transgender individual’s use of restrooms has raged in recent years. Proponents of transgender rights argue that individuals should be able to use whatever bathroom makes them most comfortable, while critics contend doing so creates uncomfortable situations for others, especially women.