Nova Scotia Transgender Teen Ignites Change In School Restroom Policy

Jessica Durling, a transgender female student in Nova Scotia was recently ordered to one day of suspension for using the girl's restroom at her Milford Station Nova Scotia high school. Although she was given the punishment, she did not have to fulfill its requirements. Now, Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has dropped Durling's suspension and has stated they will be creating guidelines to address the needs of all students, including transgender students.

Though Durling has the support of her mother, Judy Dwyer, some students at Hants East Rural high school have expressed their opposition to her using the women's restroom. Skye Parker, a friend of Durling's said she overheard fellow students making offensive and inaccurate comments about Durling. Realizing this is the time for educating community members, local advocacy groups have backed the Durling family and are making it clear that discrimination against someone based on gender identity and expression is harmful and will not be tolerated.

“We are in this place where we have this population saying: ‘OK, I want to be in my school, I want to be a part of my school. I want to contribute to my community. How can I do that in a really meaningful way?” said Sheena Jamieson of the Youth Project. “And this other group is saying ‘we don’t know, we haven’t prepared for it,’ so we’re at this point where we need to start preparing.”

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