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Transgender student in Iowa told to use different restroom

<i>KCCI</i><br/>Ethan Stucker
Ethan Stucker

By Andrew Mollenbeck

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    SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KCCI) — A transgender student at Spirit Lake High School has been ordered to stop using the men’s restroom or face possible disciplinary action.

The sudden decision this week brought to an end more than one and a half years Ethan Stucker was allowed to use those restrooms in the school building.

“It really upset me,” Stucker told KCCI. “And I had no idea that that was coming, so it really caught me off guard.”

He and his mother, Jennifer Larson, said the change came out of the blue and without explanation.

“I was not aware that there was any issue prior to them calling Ethan,” Larson said. “And after the fact Ethan called me from school and he was crying and very upset.”

School officials declined interviews and conversations about the situation.

Superintendent David Smith sent the following statement:

“We are investigating the current regulations and are sensitive to both sides of the issue. We have and continue to provide multiple restroom facilities attempting to accommodate both positions on the issue so all our students feel emotionally and physically safe.”

Larson said the decision is unacceptable and that the family is considering its options.

“There was a concern that somebody felt uncomfortable,” she said. “And that’s not how the law is written, for comfort level.”

Despite being told to use a separate restroom, Stucker has refused.

“And I don’t plan to,” he said. “Because I have every right to be treated the same as every other male student in there.”

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