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Local transgender student provokes mixed reactions

September 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Controversy at a local elementary school over a transgender student: One parent is so concerned she kept her children home.

There was mixed reaction at an elementary school in the Glendale Unified School District after a letter was sent out letting parents know a male transgender student will now be attending school as a girl.

Eyewitness News is not identifying the school, class or age of the child.

Rochelle Mazel kept her kids home Monday, afraid the situation at school could be too chaotic or confusing for her children.

"I do feel a little blindsided and in the dark, and I feel like the school is keeping a lot, and they're doing a lot to protect one when they're not looking at the big picture, that they need to be protecting all of our children," said Mazel.

She wishes the district would have provided a psychologist to help the kids and parents understand and discuss the change.

Other parents had similar concerns.

"Especially at the age of my daughter, curiosity and everything, it would be a lot of questions that would be hard to answer, and I would prefer not to deal with this," said parent Natalia Selway.

Some parents say their biggest concern is the issue of which restroom the child will use.

The superintendent would not comment on camera, but says the district respects the diversity of all students and provides safe and secure facilities for all students under state law and school board policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment.

A new law set to take effect in January allows transgender students in California public schools to compete on sports teams and use facilities like restrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with. It applies to students in kindergarten through high school.

Many other parents say the concerns are much ado about nothing.

"Surprised, but everybody should have a chance to go to a good school and have an education," said parent Lesley Mesa.


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