Bernie school board approves transgender student policy

Published: Oct. 14, 2015 at 10:06 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2015 at 10:18 PM CDT
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BERNIE, MO (KFVS) - With backlash against transgender students as close as St. Louis, the Bernie School board chose to deal with the issue head on.

"We wanted to take the lead," Superintendent Doug Ruck said. "As far as being prepared if students does come forward and said that they're transgender."

Ruck said the school board approved the Missouri recommended transgender policy to make sure school leaders had a plan in place.

"The school board decided to adopt this policy because it has been in the news and to be prepared if we have a student that's transgender," he said.

The policy allows transgender students to be addressed by their preferred name and sex, except in official school documents.

It also requires the school to offer options for physical education classes and even restrooms.

"The district will designate a general natural restroom for each building," Ruck said.

Melissa Cobb has three children who go to Bernie Schools.

She said she supports the school policy.

"I think its fine, I think it's a good thing," Cobb said. "It makes everybody equal. It makes it easier on the children going through it."

Superintendent Ruck said while there aren't any transgender students that he's aware of, his goal is to make any student feel their welcome if it happens.

"We try to meet the needs of all the students and try to keep in mind that we have students of all different genders, all different backgrounds," he said. "Just trying to provide them a safe place where they feel they can come and get a good education."

Other parents, who chose to speak off camera, said they weren't happy about the policy.

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