HILLSDALE - Officials for the Pascack Valley school district have voted to approve a policy to allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity and not their gender at birth.
The policy also allows the transgender students to joint sports teams and participate in gym class as the gender they identify with and not their gender at birth.
The policy passed its first vote by school board members last week.
Similar to the meeting held last week, students, parents and community members voiced their opinions on the policy prior to the vote.
School Superintendent Erik Gundersen says that while he does not know of any transgender student yet who would utilize the policy, the school board felt that it was best to be prepared. He says that it is not meant to exclude any student but to provide options to all the students.
“It's important for our student body and our community to recognize they have the same rights as everyone else,” he says.
Those who were opposed to the policy say that it isn’t about excluding the transgender students, but they feel that some of the students who are not transgender may also feel uncomfortable.
Several other schools in New Jersey have similar policies.