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Aug 12, 2016 11:44 AM EDT

South Texas School Board Denies Transgender Child's Bathroom Change Request

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A school board from South Texas has denied a request from a mother who wants her transgender daughter to use the girl's restroom. Kai Shappley is going to be in kindergarten soon. She was born as male, with the name Joseph, five years ago.

Chron reported that the mother, Kim Shappley, said that she immediately knew that Kai did not identify as a "boy." The Pearland Independent School District board met with Shappley to listen to her petition.

However, the South Texas school board did not alter its policy. The district said that children should use the bathroom that matches with the gender on their birth certificates. Transgender children in kindergarten can use the gender-neutral bathrooms in their classrooms. There are also private bathrooms such as in the nurse's station that they can use.

Shappley's daughter has lived as a girl for two years. She has not yet picked an elementary school for her daughter.

According to KPRC Houston, Shappley was told at the end of the last school year by Pearland Independent School District leaders that her child would need to use the boys' restroom. She claims that she is pushing her request to fight for her daughter's future.

"Please understand I'm not fighting about bathrooms, I'm fighting about her life, I'm fighting about her well-being, I'm fighting for her happiness, I'm fighting for her future," she said. "Every person that has a degree who has studied this says that it is wrong to tell my child for anyone to tell my child that she cannot use the facility that aligns with the gender she identifies with."

The mother and daughter pair received a lot of support from the audience during the meeting with the South Texas school board. However, there were some, like fellow parent Rick Torrison, who disagrees with Shappley's stance.

"I'm for Kai," he said. "I'm for her, but I'm also for our district and I'm for what's put in place."

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