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Trans student banned from male toilets at school

Canadian trans boy, 16, told to use female washroom despite having transitioned before joining the school
Trans student banned from male toilets at school in Durham Region, near Toronto
Photo by John Vetterli

A Canadian school has banned a transgender student from using the men's toilets, despite having already transitioned.

James Spencer, 16, is angry after Clarke High School in Ontario's Durham Region, near Toronto, told him he can only use the female washroom or a private bathroom which requires a key from the office.

'I thought, "They’re figuring it out, it’s temporary,"' he told Canadian newspaper The Star.

'But as time went on they’re portraying the message that transgender people are wrong and they need to be segregated. And I don’t sit well with that.'

Spencer enrolled at the school as a boy and has collected signatures from about half the pupils for a petition in support of his complaint.

He also claims he was forced to go out of school to use other toilets nearby, but the school denies this.

'I think we have to be careful that we accommodate students as best we can, but we also have to be conscious that not everyone might feel comfortable with that at this point,' said Martin Twiss, superintendent of education at the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board.

'I think we have to do some education and some preparatory work to make sure that it’s managed in a way that everybody understands the situation and it’s managed safely.'

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