Marlborough transgender student starts petition to change school's bathroom rules

NewsTalk ZB 16 June 2016 
Marlborough Girls’ College is undertaking a review after a transgender student began a petition over which bathrooms she could use.
Stefani Muollo-Gray says she’s been told to either use the boys or unisex bathrooms after a teacher at the school questioned which toilet she used.
She’s started a petition which now has over 5000 signatures.
But, acting principal Jo Chamberlain said when first enrolled, the 16-year-old and her parents agreed she would use the boys’ bathrooms.
Minister of Education Hekia Parata said she knows the school is working hard to resolve the issues, indicating an agreement had been previously reached on which bathrooms Ms Muollo-Gray would use.
“There are other girls at the school who have different views and the school has to balance all of those. I think that they have managed incredibly well to this point.”
Family First National Director Bob McCroskie said the legal opinion sides with the school.
“School toilets, showers and bunk rooms at camps and sports teams should be based on biology. Biology is an objective reality as opposed to just a subject of assessment of how someone feels.”
Marlborough Girls’ College tells student to use boys’ toilet
NewsHub 16 June 2016
Hekia Parata says she’s not sure what’s unfair about a transgender girl at an all-girls’ school not being allowed to use the girls’ bathroom.

Ministry head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey says it has been working with the school to find the best solution.

“It’s important students feel safe at school and are not subjected to abusive or bullying behaviour,” she says.

The sexuality guidelines for schools will be update this year to include more information on experiences of gay, lesbian and transgender youth to raise awareness among staff.

Family First has now waded into the situation, giving them the legal opinion for schools released earlier this year which says under the law they don’t need to allow transgender students access to shared toilets, showers or changing rooms, or to participate in sports which don’t match their biological sex.

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