SARASOTA (FOX 13) - In Sarasota County, one high school senior has been fighting for equal use of the bathrooms. He won the fight at his high school, but wanted a set policy. Now, he's hopeful the push from the Obama Administration will make that happen.
For Nate Quinn, the news came out of the blue. Quinn was born a female, but identifies as a male.
"I had over 15 notifications of people saying, 'have you seen this, Nate? Have you seen this? This is going to help so much,'" he said.
The Pine View High School senior brought the issue to the Sarasota County school board more than a year ago. He won the right to use the bathroom he identified with in January.
The district leaves it up to individual schools to decide bathroom policies, but Nate wants the school board to set a district-wide policy.
"My whole life, I kind of felt out of place. I didn't like being called 'she,' didn't really like wearing dresses or things like that," he said. "It is important, as a kid, to feel included and, just like everybody else, to have equality."
The issue caught the attention of many. Dozens of protesters came out on both sides of the issues. Some parents agreed, there should be change.
"I think we have to keep up with the times. I don't know what the correct answer is, honestly. It is up for debate," said county resident Kimberly Hayward.
Yet, many agree that the federal government should not be involved. Some parents who spoke with FOX 13 News said it should be up to the schools to decide, and to listen to concerns.
"I think the policy should be, you use the bathroom with the body parts that you were given, and if not, there should be another unisex bathroom that should be open to everyone," said another resident, Lynn Sauickie. "If there is any decision to be made, they should take a lot more time to decide what's in the best interest of everyone at the school."
For now, the Sarasota County School District isn't changing a thing. In a statement released Friday, it said, "administrators in the Sarasota County School District are aware of the May 13 document that restates the positions of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice regarding transgender students in public schools. District and school administrators in the Sarasota County Schools have responded and will continue to respond on a case-by-case basis to circumstances regarding individual transgender students."