How should schools accommodate transgender students?

- How do you handle transgender situations in school? At a high school in Missouri, almost 200 students walked out of class Monday in protest after a transgender student reportedly got school permission to use the girl’s locker room.

Parents at the school are angry about the idea of a boy who identifies as a girl using a bathroom their daughters would use.

Fairfax County Public Schools is getting ready to start a new school year following a controversial decision involving transgender students.

It is an issue the school district has been dealing with since earlier this year when they added “gender identity” to their non-discrimination policy.

They are currently seeking guidance on how to proceed if more situations arise similar to what happened in Missouri.

Andrea Lafferty with the Traditional Values Coalition said she has been traveling around the country visiting many school districts dealing with the same issue.

"This has become a major issue,” she said.

The question: How can a school handle this issue and still find middle ground? Lafferty said she is not sure that can happen.

"I think one place we’ve all agreed is that these children are troubled, they need help,” said Lafferty. “We have never said they can't go to school. We need to provide accommodations such as a bathroom to use, but that isn't good enough. That's the point."

Earlier this year, Fairfax County Public Schools edited their non-discrimination policy and some parents expressed concern this could lead to mixed-sex bathrooms.

Just about a week before the start of school, some Fairfax County school parents said they are not happy with the latest changes.

“I do feel passionate about it, and honestly, the thing that bothers me most is the way the school board handled the decision all together,” said Pamela Lepold. “To have over 500 citizens come out and say, ‘Hey, we want to talk about this. We don't think this should be passed.’ And the school board to vote -- only two were against it.”

Others appreciate the school board's move.

"I am more than okay with what they decided,” said Jennifer Bears.

She told us the best way for schools to deal with this would be “compassionately and thoughtfully and carefully."

A statement from Fairfax County Public schools said, “In May, the Fairfax County School Board voted to add gender identity to FCPS nondiscrimination policy. No decisions have been made regarding accommodations that will be provided under the revised policy. FCPS has hired a consultant to assist in developing appropriate regulations that protect the rights of all students and comply with state and federal law.”

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