Philadelphia School District: Our transgender bathroom policy will not change

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The School District of Philadelphia's current policy, adopted by the School Reform Commission last summer, allows transgender students to use their bathroom of choice, be referred to by their pronouns of choice, and participate on athletic teams of their choice.

On Thursday, Superintendent William Hite said that policy will not change despite by the Trump Administration's actions.

"It's really important for us to ensure that all of our young people are safe and they're respected and regardless of their identify, their gender identification, we are going to make sure they have what they need in order to be educated," Hite said.

Overnight, the White House reversed guidelines under President Barack Obama.

Public schools are no longer required to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Mayor Jim Kenney strongly condemned the action.

Action News spoke with Deja Lynn Alvarez, a member of the mayor's commission on LGBT affairs.

"Anybody that understands children are children needs to stand up and say no you're not going to target any child, no matter who they are, where they come from, how they grow up, what race, what gender, what ethnicity, what religion. No child should be a target," Alvarez said.

Outside Center City's Greenfield Elementary School, many parents told Action News they were appalled by the Trump administration's decision and glad their school district protects transgender students and their choices.

"It's a really bad idea. But not unexpected, I would expect. It's what we expect the Trump Administration to be doing," Helen Forian said.

"I just feel like there's more to come and this step doesn't bode well for the rights of everyone in our city and country," Karen Stover said.

The Trump Administration feels this is a decision best left to individual states and school districts.

Many other school districts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have similar policies like Philadelphia protecting transgender students.

The impact of this won't be felt immediately because a federal judge temporarily blocked Obama's directive.

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