Transgender Students Will Remain Protected, Says Public School System

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Concern is now following the lifting of federal guidelines that allowed transgender students the option to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity.

“I was born female. I always had thoughts about why I felt so different,” said Evan Callisto, a high school senior in Oakland Park.

He was female at birth but is now transitioning to male. One of the decisions he had to make was which bathroom to use at school.

“I avoid conflict and I just chose to go in the female bathroom and just take the dirty looks and stuff like that, that I get when I walk in,” he said.

Evan had the choice of which bathroom to use. Kids across the country did, too, under a President Obama directive that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

On Wednesday night, the directive was reversed by the Trump Administration.

“We will continue to serve, protect and honor the dignity, the humanity of all children, including LGBTQ transgender children,” said Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

He said the overturned directive changes nothing. Same goes for Broward. The policy in both districts is to work with students, parents and schools on a case-by-case basis to see what works best.

“We have a moral obligation and a responsibility to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen is the son of South Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. He’s transgender and fights for the rights of others. He feels the move from Washington comes from a lack of understanding.

“It’s heartbreaking to think that the very first anti-gay or transgender directive coming from the White House is aimed at transgender youth,” he said. “The most vulnerable in the LGBT community is being told the White House does not have your back.”

While South Florida schools offer Evan choices, he would like to see protections offered to everyone.

“I hope that people can just be a little more open-minded about things,” said the young man. “I’m just trying to live my life like everybody else is.”

The issue is not over yet nationally. The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a Virginia case next month.

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