DODEA to allow Ramstein transgender student to use girls’ bathroom as part of new policy

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A recent photo of Blue, the 11-year-old daughter of an U.S. airman at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, may now use the girls bathroom at her base school, after initially being denied access to it. The Department of Defense Education Activity said all openly transgender students will now be able to use the restroom and locker room of their gender identity as part of a new transgender student policy.  Photo courtesy of Jessica Girven
From Stripes.com
A recent photo of Blue, the 11-year-old daughter of an U.S. airman at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, may now use the girls bathroom at her base school, after initially being denied access to it. The Department of Defense Education Activity said all openly transgender students will now be able to use the restroom and locker room of their gender identity as part of a new transgender student policy. Photo courtesy of Jessica Girven

DODEA to allow Ramstein transgender student to use girls’ bathroom as part of new policy

by: Jennifer H. Svan | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: October 25, 2016

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — All schools on U.S. military bases worldwide will begin immediately allowing openly transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, officials said Monday.

The announcement reverses a decision earlier this month to deny the 11-year-old transgender daughter of a U.S. airman at Ramstein Air Base access to the girls’ bathroom at her school.

The parents of the student, a fifth-grader at Ramstein Intermediate School who goes by the name Blue, were told Friday that their daughter would be able to use the girls’ bathroom starting Monday, her mother, Jessica Girven, told Stars and Stripes.

“My daughter is over the moon,” she said.

The case drew media attention after Girven expressed her frustrations on social media. LGBT advocacy groups protested that the Department of Defense Education Activity was disregarding guidance issued by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice by denying a transgender girl access to the restroom consistent with her gender identity.

Will Griffin, a spokesman for DODEA-Europe, said DODEA is working on getting an estimate of how many openly transgender students attend its 168 schools.

DODEA considered guidance from the Defense Department and solutions used by other school districts “to develop a policy that was best suited to our system,” Griffin said.

The goal is to ensure students “feel welcome at each of our schools, in an environment free of discrimination, and that they really have the opportunity to thrive,” he said.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.435553