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Legislators Might Introduce Transgender Bathroom Bill Again Next Session

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The Elko County School District voted against allowing a transgender student to use the bathroom to which he identifies. 

At an unusually packed Elko County School District board of trustees meeting Monday night, the board unanimously voted against allowing a transgender middle school student to use the bathroom of which they identify. 

The student's mother, Michelle Gonzalez, stated that her son is continually bullied because being forced to use the girl's bathroom.  

Public input was heard on both sides of the issue, and among the crowd was state legislators Ira Hansen (R-Sparks), Jim Wheeler (R-Gardnerville) and John Ellison (R-Elko). The issue was a familiar one for these legislators, as it was debated during the last session in the form of AB 375, a bill that would require transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex. 

Elko County School District superintendent Jeff Zander said based on the legislators comments at the school board meeting, the controversial topic could be once again brought up during the next session. 

"That's what the three legislators that spoke last night stated," Zander said. 

As for the bullying Gonzalez claimed, also an issue taken up in that state legislator this year, Zander said the school has received no official complaints regarding this student. 

The board stated that it felt reasonable accommodations were already in place for the student, and that deciding any other way would jeopardize the privacy of other students. 

Accommodations for transgender students in the Elko County School District, Zander said, include using unisex restrooms or the restrooms within the nurse's office. 

"We know there's probably going to be some legal challenges in regard to that decision, and we will, I presume, cross that bridge when that actually takes place," Zander said.

When asked if he felt the board made the right decision, Zander said his opinion "doesn't matter."  

Jeff Zander, superintendent, Elko County School District 

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.