A dif­fer­ent pol­icy for trans­gen­der stu­dents

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Kaye D. Oliver, Hugh­esville

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.