A different policy for transgender students
Our school system has been challenged by the current national publicizing of those who wish to be the opposite sex than the one they were born into. We also have parents who are asking our public schools to accommodate this choice by making policy that enables these students to choose which bathroom or locker room they wish to use, or create special transgender facilities based on sexual preference. Our decision is to deny these requests for the following reasons:
1) This is not an issue that belongs in our schools. If a student wants to decide what gender he or she is and is younger than the age of 18, this is a private decision, and will not involve any action on the part of public schools. The function of a public school is to educate all students, not change policy based on decisions that should be private. Consequently, we do not believe the current transgender bathroom issue warrants any change on our part. We will not, therefore, tax the citizens of Charles County to create locker rooms, special bathrooms or transgender facilities as a result of this issue.
2) This is a developmental issue. We believe that as our student’s brains develop and mature, they should not make decisions that can potentially harm them later in life by making a long term decision under the age of 18 that could affect them the rest of their life. A student younger than the age of 18 deciding what gender he or she is qualifies as one of these decisions. Therefore, our schools will not take any action to reinforce a child’s decision such as this when the child is developmentally not capable of understanding the long term results of this decision; children change their mind, and often do so.
3) Letting transgender students decide what bathroom and locker room they would like to use creates safety problems in our schools. Our schools provide an education in a safe environment. Transgender students would in fact encounter students of the opposite sex in places that are not monitored by adults. We will not spend money to hire bathroom or locker room monitors for this issue. We will not support a policy that increases student safety risks based on personal choice.
4) The federal government is considering this as a civil rights issue. This is not a civil rights issue. Our schools provide separate and equal facilities for males and females based on their biological and physiological needs and differences. We maintain this is a privacy issue, but it should be so private that our schools should not know about it. If the student wants to use the facilities of the sex he/ she is not, then this will not remain a privacy issue for long.
Instead of taking part in this debate, our school system will devote its resources to giving all of our students an equal opportunity for a successful academic future.