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Governor Malloy’s executive order aims at protecting transgender students

New London

EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — President Trump may have rescinded President Obama‘s order protecting transgender students, but Governor Malloy is trying to make sure protections stay in place in Connecticut schools.

Four gender neutral bathrooms have been available to all students and staff at Norwich Free Academy since 2015. Long before the governor’s order meant to protect transgender students from discrimination.

“I think it’s a good thing that all the children feel the same and don’t feel left out,” says Linda Christopher of Niantic.

East Lyme High School and Lyme-Old Lyme High also have gender neutral bathrooms but not all schools have the facilities for that.

“I have no problem with the bathroom because they’re fairly confidential in the bathrooms but the locker rooms I have an extreme problem with because they’re open and people change clothes in there,” says Mindy Morrissey of East Lyme.

“Both sides are clearly uncomfortable with using the bathroom so make a separate stall,” says Cindy Willis of Ledyard.

“I wouldn’t put it past a sixteen seventeen year old guy to say hey yeah I’m transgender just to get into the girls locker room,” says Morrissey.

Malloy’s order refers schools to the May 2016 federal guidance if they need help complying. We took a look at what it says on how to protect the privacy rights of all students in restrooms or locker rooms.

The federal guidelines list options used at other schools around the country. For example in Washington state they offered students an alternative restroom and in New York one school principal realized that putting up curtains in the locker room ensured privacy.

The guidelines also encouraged schools to get student input.

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