Hamburg schools adopt new gender identity policy

Posted at 7:06 AM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 07:06:27-05

It took the Hamburg School Board less than a minute to approve a new gender identity policy in all its schools Tuesday night at a regular session board meeting.

The policy will allow transgender and gender non-conforming students to use the restroom and locker room of the gender they consistently identify with.

"The goal of the policy and the goals of our district are a perfect match, and I think that's why we had such a smooth approval of this policy," said District Superintendent Michael Cornell.

Hamburg is one of the first school districts in Western New York to vote and approve this change.

"One of the things we feel good about here in Hamburg is that this is an issue we've dealt with since 2001," said Cornell. "We've had transgender students consistently since that time, and we have really made sure those students and their classmates have enjoyed a fulfilling learning experience in Hamburg schools."

In Lancaster, the story is a bit different. Monday night, a packed auditorium of taxpayers expressed grave concern about a similar policy that district wants to adopt.

"To allow the mixing of genders in dressing areas and to put this into writing is going too far," said one community member.

"My fellow students agree that it would be a very uncomfortable situation to have someone of the opposite sex even though they identify as that gender to be within our locker rooms," said a student at the meeting.

After hours of discussion, Lancaster tabled its vote until next month.

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