School Board member Scott Hirons has issued the following statement on what occurred last night in Stafford county regarding the little boy whose parents have insisted that he be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. [read_more]
Last Night the Stafford County School Board passed a motion made by me that directed the Superintendent of Stafford County Public Schools to direct the staff at Hartwood elementary school to restrict use of the bathrooms according to biological gender or a private facility (staff bathroom). The motion passed six to zero, with one absent.
This issue was brought forward by concerned parents at Hartwood Elementary, who learned their children had a student in their class that was transgender and was allowed to use the bathroom of the gender the child identified with. School staff has been working with the parents of the transgender student for several months to provide accommodations that previously allowed the student to use a staff bathroom. Recently the parents of the transgender child requested their child be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. Staff sought legal advice that determined based on anti-discrimination laws of Virginia, anti-discrimination policy of Stafford County Public Schools and provisions of Title IX transgender children should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
I, and other members of the School Board, found the legal advice to not be in the best interest of the school or the community, and did not correctly interpret anti-discrimination policy. Neither state nor Stafford County Public School policy include transgender in anti-discrimination law or policies. With our action we reversed the staff implemented process that enabled the transgender student to use the girls’ bathroom. In our motion and direction we did provide what we consider a reasonable accommodation for the child to use a private staff bathroom, which had been the practice since the beginning of the school year.
This issue is going to continue to grow in Virginia and throughout the country. What is ironic is what we are attempting to avoid is bullying of children, but the tactic being used is the federal government bullying individual school districts with the actual effect of saying you will comply with our demand or we will take your lunch money. The Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights is where complaints of transgender students restricted bathroom use are filed. The OCR then makes demands of local school districts with the threat of reducing federal funding. One of the biggest line items of federal funding schools receive is student nutrition reimbursement. Hence the federal government is bullying the little guys for their lunch money.
My hope is our state legislature will find ways to block this bullying by the federal government. Communities need to be able to identify and set standards that are appropriate and acceptable to their community. I also hope communities will continue to work with the LGBT interest groups to work together to find reasonable solutions to concerns on both sides. In Stafford County’s case I think the community is working on being a more accepting community of all people, however this is a step too far now and for the foreseeable future. Sharing of bathrooms and locker rooms among genders is something I don’t think a majority will be supportive of now or in the future; especially in public schools. That is why it was the duty of the School Board to address the concerns of the community and take the action we did. I just hope the parties that expressed concern and our state representatives have our back, because we anticipate a long and costly legal battle.
What a shame that this will cost the taxpayers a great deal of money for doing something that 99% of the parents would agree is the right thing to do. One child does not have the right to bully all the other children and make them uncomfortable and embarrassed. What parent allows their 4 year old little boy to decide he’s really a little girl? What has happened to common sense? Four year old boys go through many phases, they pretend they are trucks, or Thomas the Train, or lions, or the opposite gender when they want to act out “Frozen”. That’s why they have parents to guide them, to tell them what is right and what is wrong and how to behave in our society. The poor little boy at the heart of this story had no guidance, he was neglected by his parents. On top of that, the parents want to force the public schools to support their warped thinking and support this poor, confused, boy who will face a lifetime of hurt and humiliation. Were the schools to do that, they would not be acting “in the best interest of the child”. Isn’t that what our schools and our leaders are supposed to be doing, helping children, not harming them?