By Terry Davidson
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
TORONTO – Kids have the right to use any school washroom they wish — as long as the choice corresponds with their view of whether they’re a boy or a girl, according to the Toronto District School Board.
The board released guidelines Wednesday for transgendered kids which address the issue of whether students should use washrooms designated for boys or girls.
“All students have … the right to use a washroom that corresponds to the student’s gender identity, regardless of the student’s sex assigned at birth,” states the 30-page document, Guidelines for the Accommodation of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students and Staff.
It adds that a student will not have to provide a doctor’s note or “identity documents,” and that “a student’s self-identification” is proof enough.
Schools should also provide an “all-gender, single-stall” washroom for transgendered pupils if one is available, but that it is up to the student to decide if they want to take advantage of such an option, according to the document. “We’re talking about a very small minority of the (school) population — a very beleaguered and marginalized minority,” said NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, a proponent of the guidelines.
Transgendered students are a tremendously vulnerable group, added DiNovo, saying there are statistics showing high rates of attempted suicide among those dealing with gender issues while attending school.