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High Schoolers Walk Out as Adults Advocate for Transgender Rights

via DC News Now

Students at a New York high school staged walkouts and counterprotests over a policy allowing transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.

Those protesting said it made some students uncomfortable, while transgender student Cory Pittore argued for inclusion and against being “silenced.”

The school district superintendent said he was unaware of alleged incidents in bathrooms and the district would provide a safe environment for “all” students, following protocols.

“A bunch of people from our school, John Jay, feel uncomfortable,” John Jay High School student Shauna Neilan said. “We want to change that and give them their own spaces to make us more comfortable and them more comfortable.”

John Jay High School has male, female and single-stall neutral bathrooms.

John Jay High School student Cory Pittore said, “I feel as though that we shouldn’t be silenced no matter what.”

“We are human, just like everyone else,” Pittore added. “I, myself, have been struggling with this for so long, and I just feel like we shouldn’t be silenced because we’re human ourselves.”

The superintendent noted students who left school early would need to discuss conduct.

“We are going to continue to provide a safe environment for all of our students. And all means all, each and every one of them,” Wappingers Central School District Superintendent Dwight Bonk said.

“We want to support all of their rights, but we’re also going to be following the proper protocol that we are responsible for following,” Bonk said.

Debate centered around balancing transgender rights and others’ comfort in light of laws requiring transgender access to bathrooms of their identity.

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