Some states have recently started implementing laws to settle the bathroom questions for transgenders. States like North Carolina and Texas have made laws that require everyone to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. Amid all of the debate, North Carolina passed a bill that doesn’t give transgenders the right to use whichever bathroom they want (Higgens). North Carolina is one of the first states to implement a law regarding transgender bathroom rights. The law came with mixed reviews from citizens. Texas also made a law, named "The Texas’ Privacy Act", which requires all people to use the bathroom that goes with their biological sex ("New bathroom bill"). Both laws have received some positive, but much more negative feedback from people. Many people want the laws to be repealed and for transgenders to be able to have a choice, yet many people are opposed to allowing transgenders to use either bathroom.
The divide between wanting to allow transgenders their bathroom choice and not wanting to seems to fall along political party lines. Meaning Democrats are in favor of granting transgenders the choice of choosing their bathrooms, and Republicans are not. President Obama, a democrat, was in favor of giving transgenders the power to use either bathroom. Republicans of Texas sued an order made by Obama that would require them to allow transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice ("New bathroom bill"). A lot of people see this issue and are either on one side or the other, and think there is no way for a compromise to work. A common reason that people are against LGBTQ laws is their religion. A Kentucky clerk refused to sign her name on same sex marriage and got put in jail. New religious freedom laws are arising with these LGBTQ laws that grant individuals the freedom to not serve LGBTQ people if it violates their religion. Utah was one of the first states to implement a compromise bill. The bill gives LGBTQ people more rights and gives people the right to exercise religious freedom (Higgens). With these religious freedom laws that allow people like marriage clerks to not have to marry same sex couples, there still are laws and policies that make harassment of LGBTQ people for their sexual orientation illegal.
There are old laws protecting civil rights of everyone, however, high officials in schools don’t believe that everyone has equal harassment protection yet. School board laws in Virginia impose a fine on schools districts that fail to provide a safe learning experience for LGBTQ students. One of the laws that Virginia schools must follow is the civil rights law of 1964, which protects LGBTQ students from victimization ("Loudoun County Virginia"). The old secretary of education said that he wants schools to be safe and equal for all students. Him and the department of education in an interview by the GLSEN said they don’t believe that all students have equal rights, and they want to fight for students everywhere (Regittko). Harassment of LGBTQ students is very common and it has numerous negative effects on the victims.
According to studies, there are numerous social, mental, and legal problems that arise in LGBTQ students as a result of harassment. The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network has done a lot of studying on students with sexual orientations or gender identity problems. Their research has shown that LGBTQ students are more at risk for discipline in school, and the bullying and harassment of them leads the them getting disciplined more because it puts them in more contact with school authorities (Wright). Harassment can have these negative effects on anyone, but LGBTQ students are at risk for harassment. Researchers for the GLSEN say that 74.1% of LGBTQ students receive verbal harassment. They also say that LGBTQ students are more likely to become depressed, and miss school more often due to harassment (Regittko). When problems like this occur in schools teachers are the ones that have the responsibility to deal with it.
For teachers, dealing with LGBTQ related harassment problems is different than other types of harassment. Kids getting bullied because of their sexual orientation may receive long lasting negative effects that impact their future. Studies show that teachers are less comfortable dealing with LGBTQ students and the students receive negative consequences due to this. In a study by the GLSEN, teachers and students were surveyed with how they handle different types of bullying. According to the study, “41% of teachers admit to have difficulty addressing problems arising from LGBTQ students getting bullied for their sexual orientation.” The study also showed that bullying is more common in schools where teachers intervene less often (Higgens). Teachers receive sensitivity training on how to not be biased and how to deal with many different problems. Researchers for the LGBTQ rights activists suggest that teachers should receive special training on how to be conscious and careful when dealing with students with different sexual orientations of sexualities (Hudnell). In the future, if teachers receive specific training to help LGBTQ harassment victims, it could save some students from side effects they otherwise could have received.