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