The Buffalo Public Schools are discussing a policy that is designed to make transgender students feel more at ease in school. The district has been working with the Pride Center of Western New York to create the policy, which has the primary goal of making all school spaces and events safe for transgender students. This comes at a time of great controversy regarding accommodating transgender students in schools. WGRZ spoke to civil rights attorney Paul Cambria about the issue. The full story is available on WGRZ’s website.
New gender identity policy
According to WGRZ, the Buffalo Schools’ new gender identity policy would place the responsibility on the principals in order to create private sections for all students. Principals may also create separate stalls with doors or privacy curtains for transgender students. Students can also play on sports teams and use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
School districts can follow state laws
WGRZ reports that several states have refused to follow the Obama Administration’s order to make these accommodations. A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against the order and the State Education Department is reviewing the judge’s ruling. New York State has laws against discrimination based on gender identity and, as civil rights attorney Paul Cambria pointed out, school districts can follow state laws about what to do in these situations. “Local school districts can take the position that this is an identity situation rather than biology and they can facilitate it that way,” he explained.
About Paul J. Cambria, Jr.
The chair of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, Mr. Cambria advises clients on criminal trials, criminal appeals, constitutional and First Amendment law, zoning and land use, antitrust, and professional licensing defense. He divides his time between the firm’s offices in Buffalo and Los Angeles.