WHITE CENTER, Wash. -- President Obama’s directive to allow transgender students use the bathroom they identify with will have minimal impact in Washington. That’s because state law already requires schools to abide by this rule.
Students at Cascade Middle School requested a gender neutral bathroom and they recently got one.
“Highline school students are used to diversity and I think they embrace each other,” Highline Public Schools spokesperson Catherine Carbone Rogers said.
The district’s policy allows any student to use the bathroom or locker room they identify with so Obama`s directive Friday is nothing new here.
It may not change much in our state but the instructions are fanning the flames of conflict over whether the government has the right to pull federal funds if schools don`t comply.
“It`s the government evening out the playing field, I don`t feel this is an overreach,” said one parent.
“This to me is bullying; this is saying, 'You do it my way or I will take your livelihood.' This is taxpayer money he`s talking about, using it against the taxpayers,” Kaeley Trilley Haver said.
Haver is a mother of two and supports the I-1515 movement. It’s looking to repeal the state`s current law allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they identify with.
“If it`s a single stall, that`s wonderful, but we are talking about locker rooms and that`s what a lot of people aren`t talking about."
Haver says the current rules are too broad and she feels it puts women and children at risk.
“We’ve been called this conservative zealot but I cannot tell you how many liberal liberals, especially women, who are on our side,” Haver said.
Other parents like Misty Brunner says she`s on the fence.
“It’s hard to see what side I want to be on,” Brunner said.
But if you ask Highline Public Schools there are no problems with the current rules now.
“I am not aware of a single instance where a student has expressed they are uncomfortable with a transgender student using a restroom that they are in,” Carbone Rogers said.
Cascade Middle School is not the only school with a gender neutral bathroom.
Seattle Public Schools says nearly half of its 98 schools already have gender neutral bathrooms for transgender students.