Former Bonham ISD transgender student responds to district's bathroom policy

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BONHAM, Texas -- Bonham ISD announced Monday it won't follow the new federal transgender bathroom policy.

The superintendent told us there's no problem for transgender students at Bonham schools, but a former transgender student disagrees.

Noelle Chesser, 18, is ttransgender. She was born Jacobie Chesser but realized five years ago that's not who she was meant to be.

"I feel like a woman trapped in a man's body," said Chesser. "It's been a real struggle for me especially with school."

Chesser attended Bonham High School up until last year. She says during her junior year she debuted "Noelle" and wasn't accepted.

"When I first came to school like that it's like I was being tortured because everyone would give me the dirtiest looks like I had done something wrong," said Chesser. "All I was doing was being myself."

Chesser says she was bullied and reported it to administrators, but nothing was done. She doesn't understand why superintendent, Dr. Marvin Beaty, said it wasn't a problem.

"I feel like him saying there wasn't any problems that's against me," said Chesser. "Why wasn't I ever helped?"

Bonham ISD has chosen not to follow the new federal transgender bathroom policy. It states that schools have to permit students to use restrooms based on their gender identity or lose federal funding.

Chesser says what Bonham ISD did is a slap in the face. "If you think you are female you should use the female bathroom," said Chesser. "If you male you should use the male bathroom."

Chesser says this shouldn't even be an issue.

"I think school should just be a place to go and learn and hang out with your friends and have just respond for your well being," said Chesser.

Chesser said, "you shouldn't be discriminated just because you want to wear female clothes and make up. I feel like if you're different people should embrace it."

Beaty said if the school board directs him to follow the policy, he will comply.



 
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