BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Students in Buffalo public schools can now use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with.

Many families woke up to the news Thursday morning after the board of education approved the district's new Gender Identity Policy.

District leaders say transgender students have been using their bathroom of choice for years.

The new policy simply provides specific guidance to administrators.

The issue of gender identity in public school bathrooms has been a controversial one across the nation and Wednesday night's meeting was no different.

"I don't think the policy was reasonable as to the notice," said Carl Paladino, Buffalo Public School Board member. "I think that kids are entitled to an actual notice at the time of the entry."

"When you protect the privacy rights of all students, the transgender children are protected also," said Paulette Woods, Buffalo Public School Board member. "And I made a very strong point that all children deserve to be protected from bullying, all the children, transgender or not, needed to be able to be safe."

Principals will get a copy of that policy Thursday.

The district says training for administrators and staff will begin soon.

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