Monday, May 02, 2016

Trangender student still wins after Horry County stalemate . . . at least for now

On the heels of a huge victory in keeping anti-transgender legislation from becoming law, the South Carolina lgbt community found itself in another battle in what can be called in less friendly territory. And though the battle seems to have ended in a stalemate as of now, it exposed the absolute insane fears that the religious right have been able to exploit with regards to transgender men and women and bathrooms.

From News 2:

 Horry County Schools held a meeting Monday morning before a capacity crowd to discuss Title IX and the transgender bathroom issue.The School Board called the meeting to decide if they should continue to comply with a federal court ruling in favor of a Virginia transgender student who wished to use the bathroom of the gender he identified with.The board voted on a resolution to follow the law under the recent 4th Circuit Court ruling on Title IX and will explore all possible legal avenues on the issue — including filing an amicus brief in support of the Virginia school district. The School Board also said non-transgender students will be allowed to use private bathrooms in the nurse’s office of they fee uncomfortable with transgender people in the bathroom.

An April 28th edition of CNN online gives background on the situation:

A South Carolina school district is updating its policy to allow transgender students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity. The news comes one week after a transgender student threatened legal action against Horry County Schools for suspending him for using the "wrong" bathroom. The student, who wished to not be identified for fear of outing himself, said a teacher followed him to the bathroom this year. He used the boys' restroom despite recent orders from the school to use the girls' facilities or the nurse's bathroom, and he was suspended for one day.
 According to the boy's mother, he had been using the boy's restroom since 8th grade without incident. For now, it is not known how the situation got so controversial. What is known is that once the school district decided to allow transgender students to use restrooms in accordance to their gender identities, some Horry residents got angry. Some started a petition and over 1,000 of them showed up at a prayer rally on Sunday.  All of them were pushing the notion that predators would use the new law to harm their children, even though experts have debunked this myth.

And others pull their children out of school. According to News Channel 15:

After that news broke, Jessica Hendrick pulled her daughter out of an Horry County middle school.She's concerned that a boy could be in the stall next to her daughter. "I want to know for my child that the first time that she has an experience of seeing private body parts of the opposite sex that I've done everything I can do as a parent to ensure that it was done on her own terms," said Hendrick. "Not because she was at school in the 7th grade in a bathroom and a boy came in."

While the district board was deliberating, people from opposite sides of the issue tried to debate. As you can see by the above picture from twitter, it didn't exactly go well. Singing "Jesus Loves Me" to drown out someone defending children is the very definition of irony.

For now, while the school district seeks to appeal Title XI, it will continue to allow transgender students to use the bathroom in accordance to their gender identity.

Of course I don't understand how some folks pivoted from a  transgender boy using the bathroom for years without problems to the idea that allowing him to continue to do so would cause situations in which transgender girls would "expose" themselves to other girls.

But I guess it doesn't have to make sense. Irrationality and fear never has to make sense.

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