Security in Numbers

Photo by David Humber

Illinois school security officer Kathy Johnson fondly recalls her interactions with a transgender student who was born female but identifies as male. On some days the student carried a purse and dressed as a girl. Other days, he showed up at school in male attire.

“On those days, he preferred to use the boy’s restroom but felt uncomfortable entering if there were boys already inside,” says Johnson, who works at Douglas Preparatory School, an alternative program serving middle and high school students who have been expelled or exhibited severe behavior.