One parent claims it discriminates against ‘regular boys & girls.’
Frederick, Md (KM) Next week, the Frederick County Board of Education is expected to vote on a policy to accommodate transgender students without trampling on the rights of other kids. But one parent is threatening to challenge that in court if the School Board passes it.
Cindy Rose, who unsuccessfully ran for the Board of Education last year, says this policy is unfair. “It seeks to create a protected class of students with rights above and beyond the rights of regular boys and girls,” she said. Rose spoke Tuesday morning on “The Morning News Express With Bob Miller” on WFMD.
Board of Ed President Brad Young says guidelines have been issued to each school regarding the treatment of transgender students, and adopting a policy would put this practice in writing. “This is in practice what Frederick County Public School has been doing for the past six years, and now we’re putting into a policy to formalize it,” he said.
During a public hearing in March, a number of students told the Board of Education that not all schools or school officials respect the rights of transgender students. They said a policy in writing would help.
Young says when it comes to bathroom use, students can use the restroom which corresponds to their gender identity, even if it’s not their birth gender. But accommodations are made for students who don’t feel comfortable going to the restroom with someone whose gender differs from their own. “They have just as much right to feel comfortable as everyone else,” he said. “And if they have those apprehensions, they would be entitled to use separate facilities that would be private.”
Rose was especially critical of a section covering the school system’s sports programs. “The policy specifically says–in 443.7–that students are permitted participation with in FCPS sports and physical education classes in a manner consistent with their gender identity,” she says. “I don’t think that will hurt boy sports so much, but I think it’s going to hurt the girls and their sports.”
The School Board is scheduled to vote on the policy on Wednesday, June 14th.
Rose has threatened to sue the school system if the policy is adopted.
“It always hard to anticipate a hypothetical lawsuit,” Young responds. “I think our policy has been vetted well. It has been run through our legal council, and it is grounded in law. So I feel comfortable that we can defend the policy if somebody were to take it court.”\
By Kevin McManus