District's change over restrooms for transgender students stirs - KCTV5 News

District's change over restrooms for transgender students stirs controversy

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Lee Porras is a freshman at Olathe East. She identifies as a female. With her family's permission, KCTV5's Josh Marshall spoke to her. Lee Porras is a freshman at Olathe East. She identifies as a female. With her family's permission, KCTV5's Josh Marshall spoke to her.
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

The bathrooms inside a Johnson County high school are sparking some controversy, and it all has to do with which restrooms transgender students can use.

KCTV5 News received an email from someone who said they are a concerned Olathe East High School parent outraged the school never told them anything, and now their student will be in a restroom with the opposite sex.

There are currently two transgender students attending the school.

Lee Porras is a freshman at Olathe East. She identifies as a female. With her family's permission, KCTV5's Josh Marshall spoke to her.

"I associate myself with being a female, and I decided to make the change in my physical appearance when I was in middle school last year," Lee said.

In the beginning of the 2015 school year, Lee and another transgender student used the school nurse's bathroom. 

That was until the school newspaper broke the story of the district's change allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

"I was really happy when they gave me a pass to be able to use it, so I would have no problems and I could get through it really easily. I appreciate them doing that for me," Lee said.

The school district is in uncharted territory. They are the first metro school to address what the school paper calls the transgender "bathroom issue."

"Schools that have transgender students enrolled work closely with all students and families to provide the appropriate accommodations for restroom and locker room use," the school said in a written statement.

The district confirms parents weren't notified about the transgender changes. They clarified that it wasn't a policy change, just accommodation.

"All teachers know me as a she, know me as Lee. On the roster my name is Lee, so they've been helping me with everything that could be a possible issue in school," Lee said.

Some parents with children enrolled at Olathe East say that anything to make students fit in is a good thing.

Olathe East's administration said they will not make further comments on the subject.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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