OPINION: Transgender Students Should Be Protected By Arizona Schools

By: Alex Fikes
OwlFeed Journalist

In the state of Arizona schools are required to provide certain needs for kids in their system. They are required to provide resources, counseling, and protection for all students. This includes transgender students, even if they don’t agree they are required by law.

Trans Pride Flag Waving
Photo courtesy of: https://chad-wick.com/transpride/

Schools in Arizona are suppose to allow students to go by their preferred  name and pronouns in class, but on official documents they need to have their name that is written on their birth certificate. Also, where dress code is concerned, students may wear the uniform of the gender they identify with.

Students are also allowed to use the restroom and locker room assigned to their preferred gender. The schools are required to provide a safe and comfortable way for the student to do so. If safety is a concern then the school should provide a single stalled bathroom for the student, but should not require the student to use it.

A lot of people are concerned about the students using their preferred bathroom. Some parents are concerned about sexual harassment, but the number of sexual assaults from transgender students using their preferred bathroom is close to none. There isn’t any real reason to be concerned.

Sports and athletics are the tricky situations. The school will need to consult Arizona Interscholastic Association to make sure they are within guidelines. Although the school is required to provide athletic opportunities for all students regardless of sex or gender identity.

Students are bullied all the time for being transgender or even just being different from everyone else. Schools have a hard time controlling bullying. They can’t prevent bullying. They can try to stop it but they can’t, but they can help. Bullying is inevitable.

I interviewed a student that was bullied at a previous school. Kids would constantly come up to him and ask him if was a “tranny.” He just shrugged it off. Some of the teachers knew and they did nothing to help.

Schools need to do a better job of enforcing the laws that they are required to follow. The laws are there to protect the students. The schools have the resources to do it. Sometimes I don’t think all schools want to do the extra work.

Other students have had different experiences with this. A friend of mine had a totally different experience with it. He wasn’t bullied, but accepted by his friends and family. Not everyone is this lucky.

Different schools handle it differently. Here at Agua Fria the counselors and teachers handle things really well. So it is a safe place.