Medford students skip school to protest transgender bathroom directive
MEDFORD-- Students from Hedrick Middle School took a stand Monday against the directive from the Obama administration saying public schools must allow transgender students to use bathrooms according to their chosen gender identity.
The students tell News10 they are protesting the fact that some male students are using this as a chance to go into the female bathrooms.
"I feel like they were just using it more to their benefit of just kind of being perverts more rather than actually using it because they were uncomfortable with going into the bathroom of birth," student Grace Milligan said.
The students' parents were also present.
"They came home and one of our girls was crying and didn't feel safe because she didn't feel safe going into the girl's bathroom or locker room," parent Renee Molder said.
The Obama administration released guidelines last week directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity. A spokesperson with Medford School District 549C said the district is reviewing the guidelines and comparing them to school policy.
"...To see if there's work that needs to be done. Where that work needs to be done. We're having conversations with our administrators , with our school board. And we're not going to rush this process," said Medford School District spokesperson Natalie Hurd.
Hedrick Middle School has two gender neutral bathrooms. Hurd explained the school district works with families and makes accommodations for students who need to use these bathrooms for emotional, mental and physical support.
During the protest Monday a transgender woman approached protesters.
"Every day someone tries to hurt us or kill us. It's such a simple thing. I've lived my life as a woman for years," Cadilina DeVille said. "You're taking away our rights," she added.
"You're taking away ours. We just want to feel safe," Milligan said.
The students are receiving make-up work from the middle school.
A counter-protest in support of transgender rights was held Tuesday.