FL transgender student at odds over restroom use - WFLA News Channel 8

FL transgender student at odds over restroom use

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

Alex Wilson is a certified nursing assistant, hoping to become a licensed practical nurse, by attending classes at Pinellas Technical Education Center in Clearwater.

Another transformation is ongoing, from male to female. Four years of hormone therapy means the process is well underway.  

Up until yesterday Alex was using the women's restroom on the PTEC campus. But that all came to an end after a fellow student complained, and went to administration. Wilson says she was pulled out of class and told her alternatives. "If I continue to use the female restroom that I would have charges pressed against me. And that because of that I would be removed from the program as a nurse," said Wilson.

Instead of using the restroom near her classroom Wilson says she now has to use one in the administration building.  "It's a small restroom in, what looks like a storage part of the administration building. There's some cabinets, cleaning supplies," she said.

A similar case decided in Colorado may provide guidance. The parents of 1st grader Coy Mathis recently won their fight to allow Coy to use the girl's bathroom. Coy was born a male, but who identifies as a female.  "There are thousands of families like ours across the country and none should have to fight for their children to have basic respect," said Kathryn Mathis, Coy's mother.

"It's not right. And the fact that I would have to continue to use that restroom for the continuation of my education; that's not right," said Wilson.

The Pinellas schools spokeswoman says administrators plan to look into this case to understand what happened.  "In a scenario such as the one you're describing , a person will be offered access to a private restroom. And that's for the individual's privacy and for the privacy of other students," said Melanie Marquez Parra.  

The school spokesman says administrators will gather facts to see if anything should have been handled differently.

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