TROY, Ohio – A non-profit legal organization is urging an Ohio school district to reverse its recent decision to allow “transgender” students to use restrooms for the opposite sex.
Late last month, a female student at Troy Junior High School, asked if she could use the school’s male restroom, claiming that she identified as a male.
After meeting with the student’s parents and discussing the matter with the board of education, the school district’s superintendent, Eric Herman, announced that students would be allowed to use the restrooms of their choice, based not on sex but rather “gender identity.”
“Troy City Schools is committed to providing a safe learning environment to all students, including an environment free from sex discrimination,” Herman explained in an automated phone call to all parents in the school district, according to local reports.
“The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education have taken the position that prohibiting a student access to the restroom that matches the student’s gender identity is prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX,” he continued. “Therefore, Troy City Schools allows students to use the restrooms that match their gender identity.”
Following Herman’s announcement, many local residents expressed concern regarding the restroom policy’s effects on the district’s 4,600 students. Last Tuesday, about 150 people gathered inside a local church building to discuss the policy. Most residents at the meeting opposed the school district’s decision.
“Troy has more issues than what bathroom someone uses,” resident Denise Burns said at the meeting, according to “Dayton Daily News.” “One person is justifying a major change for thousands of kids. How is that justified?”
Also on Tuesday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit religious rights organization, sent a letter to members of the Troy City School District Board of Education, urging them to reconsider their controversial decision.
“We seek to reaffirm the commonsense proposition that compelling students to share restrooms and locker rooms with members of the opposite sex violates their right to bodily privacy and would not only lead to potential legal liability for the School District and its employees, but would also violate students’ and parents’ fundamental rights,” ADF’s J. Matthew Sharp wrote in the letter.
“No federal law requires public schools to open sex-specific restrooms, showers, and changing areas to opposite-sex students,” Sharp added.
In the letter’s conclusion, Sharp described the harmful consequences of the Troy school district’s revised bathroom policy.
“Allowing students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms would seriously endanger students’ privacy and safety, undermine parental authority, violate religious students’ free exercise rights, and severely impair an environment conducive to learning,” he warned. “These dangers are so clear-cut that a school district allowing such activity would clearly expose itself to tort liability.”
Bryan Kemper, a Troy resident whose children attend school in the district, implored the district to keep the interests of the students in mind.
“The long-standing tradition of having distinct facilities for boys and girls at school is in the best interest of students,” Kemper said, according to a statement on Wednesday from ADF. “Advocacy organizations trying to pressure schools to do otherwise are disregarding common sense and jeopardizing the physical and emotional well-being of the most vulnerable members of society.”
Other school districts across the U.S. have recently faced similar controversies with “transgender” students. As previously reported, approximately 150 high school students in St. Louis protested school officials’ decision to allow a 17-year-old homosexual male student to use the girls’ locker room and restrooms.