This month the school council at J.M. Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky, passed a gender identity non-discrimination policy. This new policy will allow students to use the locker rooms and restrooms in accordance with their gender identity.
The policy was instated after a transgender freshman student tried to use female restrooms at the school earlier this year. Atherton High School had previously passed a non-discrimination policy, but it only included age, race and sexual orientation, not gender identity.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, school Principal Thomas Aberli said, “We have a responsibly to provide appropriate accommodations for transgender students. This policy is something that really demonstrates our ability to respond to the needs of diverse students. [Atherton] was the best place for something like this to happen.”Harper Jean Tobin, who graduated from Atherton High School and is the director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality said, "I’ve always been proud of Atherton, but I’ve never been prouder.”
HRC commends Principal Aberli and Atherton High School for taking a stand against discrimination and setting a high standard of acceptance and equality for high schools everywhere. This local act is critical because there are still no state laws in Kentucky explicitly addressing discrimination against LGBT elementary and high school students.
To find out more about what cities around the country are doing to support their LGBT residents and visitors, check out HRC's Municipal Equality Index.