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Transgender student at Columbus High School says school is not making reasonable accommodations

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A transgender student at Columbus High School says the school is not making reasonable accommodations for his needs.  

Now the student is speaking out, but the school is not.  

"The students don't see me as a person," said Damien Greenlee, junior.

Greenlee is a transgender student, who was born a female, but has taken on a male identity since the beginning of freshman year.

Greenlee says after student complaints, school officials told him not to use either the men's or women's bathrooms at school.

"I had no bathroom that I could go to," Greenlee said. "The bathroom that I'm going to now is a storage unit."

We reached out to the school principal, board members and superintendent about the situation, receiving only the reply of "no comment."

According to Greenlee, the bathroom he must use is for storage, with no lock on the door and a leaking ceiling.

There are two other bathrooms Greenlee was told he could use, but he says they aren't feasible.

"There is a bathroom in the alternative learning center, which is a block a way from the school and then there is a bathroom in the agriculture building, which is completely across the school from all of my classes," Greenlee said.

Greenlee says while the school did designate three different bathrooms for him on campus, he says the one in poor condition is the only one he can use without being late for class.

"The teachers have gotten mad at me because I have told them it was going to take me maybe ten minutes to go from class, to the bathroom and back," Greenlee said.

Greenlee would prefer to use the boys bathroom or have a higher quality restroom available, and not just for him.

"I don't want anyone else to deal with that," Greenlee said. "I don't want anyone else to have to go through this."

Title IX protects transgender students against physical or sexual abuse, but some say it carries further implications of protection against discrimination as well.
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