SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KCAU) — An Iowa organization is rallying behind a Spirit Lake transgender student who was told to stop using the public restroom after the last year-and-a-half of being able to use it with no problems.
Iowa Safe Schools released a statement Friday, declaring the sudden policy change at Spirit Lake High School is a violation of Title IX, the Iowa Civil Rights Act, and Iowa Department of Education policy. Iowa Safe Schools is an organization that works to provide LGBTQ and others safe and supportive learning environments.
Ethan Stucker, 16, told KCAU that he went down to the office after school Monday when the guidance counselors said he would have to talk to the principal and be disciplined if he continued to use the male restroom.
Becky Smith, executive director for Iowa Safe Schools, said the school administration has been “treading” in a “realm” that has been settled by law for years.
“It’s clear that this initiative violates multiple state and federal laws. We are glad to see that the student is aware of their rights and hope to see civil rights protections upheld before the situation escalates,” Smith added.
Iowa Safe Schools said school administrators’ dismissal of transgender students contributes to negative mental health outcomes, therefor they are working to address and correct the situation with the administrators of Spirit Lake high school.
Ethan started an online petition to allow transgender students to use public restrooms at Spirit Lake schools, As of Friday afternoon, it has received more than 1,000 signatures.