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Student News of Liberty High School


Student News of Liberty High School


Student News of Liberty High School


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Biological Bathrooms

New policy will require students to use the bathroom of their biological sex rather than their gender identity beginning April 3
Liz Hayes
Wentzville School District students must use bathrooms of their biological sex rather than gender identity as of April 3 after passage of a new school board policy.

Imagine waking up in the wrong body every day. Trying to change how to look to conform to society. Always thinking about how other people think of you. This is how transgender people feel every day. They are constantly being fought against with different laws and policies that make doing anything the majority of the world takes for granted, such as going to the restroom.

The Wentzville Board of Education voted 5-2 on Jan. 18 to approve a new policy that will require students to use the bathroom according to their biological sex rather than their gender identity. This policy will go into effect as of April 3.

Senior Gracyn Burke isn’t directly affected by this bill and uses the bathroom that aligns with their sex due to convenience like other trans students do to make it easier for other people.

“It’s important at school for students to be able to express themselves without being afraid of what people think about them,” Burke said.

Some things that trans students like Burke struggle with while at school, other than the new bathroom policy, are issues like being misgendered (using the wrong pronouns to refer to a person) and deadnaming (calling someone by their birth name).

“I’m not super picky about deadnaming because I understand things happen, but it does affect me,” Burke said.

Another struggle trans students struggle with is trying to find out which teachers and staff members around the school are safe to talk to. One of those staff members is psychology teacher Matthew Barker.

“All kids deserve to feel safe, and that can include where do I fit in concern,” Barker said.

We are all in this together. We are all imperfect, we are all struggling, we are all trying.

— Matthew Barker, psychology teacher

“Some of my transgender students who ask to use the restroom will ask to go to the nurse, as it is a unisex bathroom,” Barker said

A topic that came up a lot during the board meeting on Jan. 18, is the belief that without this policy, there will be an increase in rape.

“If I go back to the last meeting, the comments around the potential increase of risk of rape, almost targeting transgender students, was not okay,” Board President Jason Goodson brought up comments made by board members during a previous closed meeting. He said he would “not want to be a part of a vote that accepts those comments as okay. I don’t even want to be aligned with that – at all.”

Mr. Barker recalled a tragic incident that took place back in his high school days.

“As I sat in my English class unknown to me a boy walked into the girls’ bathroom and assaulted and killed a girl named Christine Spencer,” Barker said. “I think for a lot of people bathroom safety is a hypothetical, for me bathroom safety cost me a friend’s life. So I do understand the threat of someone going to the women’s bathroom, but that young man did not dress as a woman. He waited in the middle of class, watched her go in, and followed her.” 

Burke would like to give to the school as well as transgender students in school.

“For the school, I would say stop messing with things you don’t understand,” they said. “I understand people on the board may not be personally affected. But having someone who is biologically female go into a restroom with biological males isn’t going to affect anybody. And to other trans students, I would say, try not to worry about what other people think. They are always going to find something wrong with you. If it’s gonna be the fact that you don’t fit gender norms, so be it.”

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About the Contributor
Liz Hayes
Liz Hayes, Editor-in-Chief of Broadcast Media
Liz Hayes is a senior and this is her fourth year in publications. She is the editor-in-chief of broadcast media where she produces “The Eagle’s Eye” as well as the livestream producer. She is also a reporter for the Talon yearbook and LHSToday. She enjoys listening to music and working on publications in her free time. Liz hopes to be a director for a living. Her dream school is NYU and she hopes to live in NYC during and after college.

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