J. Graham Brown School to open gender-neutral restroom this fall - WDRB 41 Louisville News

J. Graham Brown School to open gender-neutral restroom this fall

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- What bathrooms transgender students should being using has become a nationwide debate. 

One local school is taking a stance. In the fall, the J. Graham Brown School in downtown Louisville will make a gender-neutral bathroom available to students. 

"We wanted to make sure that we were providing inclusive restroom facilities for all of our students here," said Brown School Principal Angela Parsons. 

The bathroom will include four stalls. And while the school is K-12, only middle and high school students will be able to use it. 

"I really feel like after a couple weeks, the students are not going to think twice about it being any different than any other restroom," Parsons said. 

The Obama administration recently announced a directive to public schools to let transgender students use facilities that match their gender identity. 

Parsons says school leaders had already been discussing the issue for months. 

"We talked about it all year," said Ashley Chesman, who has two elementary students at the school and is part of the Site-Based Decision Making Council. 

"I think this is the future. This is the future of our country, and that's one of the reasons why I love Brown School is because I love the diversity here," Chesman said. 

But not everyone is on board with the new policy. 

"Doesn't make much sense to me," Rob Tamagni said, whose son is about to graduate from the J. Graham Brown School. "When it would come to my child being here, I would question their safety in situations." 

School officials say students will still be able to use the bathrooms that are only for boys and girls, and families should discuss what they'd like to do ahead of next fall. 

"So we are going to be asking that families speak to their students about what would be the best options would be for them," Parsons said. 

School leaders say they plan to monitor the new policy at the beginning of next school year. 

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