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Gardner-Edgerton school board votes to ban transgender students from certain bathrooms, locker rooms

Gardner-Edgerton board meeting
Posted at 10:45 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 23:45:01-05

GARDNER, Kan. — Certain bathrooms and locker rooms are now off-limits to transgender students in the Gardner Edgerton school district.

The school board voted Monday night to approve the new policy on the transgender students.

The vote wraps of months of discussion and debate at the Gardner-Edgerton board. It's left some parents and students feeling elated, while others are heartbroken.

"They have finally listened to the majority of our community and done what is right for the majority of the students," said Brenda Thompson, a parent in favor of the policy.

Students like Elizabeth Fielder say this was, and is, a non-issue.

"We've never had an issue with a trans student in the bathroom that I am aware of, that any of the students I've talked to are aware of," she said.

It's a sentiment echoed by former student Carter Robinson.

"Nationwide, parents have gotten a weird obsession I feel like with locker rooms, restrooms, anything involving trans students," they said.

Robinson sees themselves in the Gardner Edgerton students who they feel will now be singled out.

"It's just a matter of what they decide is dangerous without actually having evidence on," Robinson said. "Or deciding, or having factual-based dangers behind and it ends up hurting other kids like me you know?"

Thompson disagreed with Robinson.

"This is not you know direct measures at them, this is for our school district as a whole and what the majority would like to see," Thompson said.

Another item on the agenda tonight a vote whether or not to remodel certain restrooms to accommodate for this policy change did not pass but it will appear again in a future board meeting.