POWAY, California, February 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A state law allowing students with gender dysphoria to use the locker room of the opposite sex is causing an uproar at a California high school.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Holly Franz spoke to school district board members on behalf of her son and “so many students” who, the mother says, have contacted her about a female student who has been using a male locker room.
“My son came home from school and told me there was a girl using the boys' locker room,” said Franz, whose son attends Rancho Bernando High School. “This is someone he's known for years and has always been a girl. My son was very upset by this, and I called the principal.”
Franz told the Union Tribune, “Our position is all about our kids' modesty and privacy” and that while she understands the state requires the school to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice, she also has “been contacted by so many students, and they all have their own reasons for privacy.”
On the other side of the discussion were transgender activists and a petition with 1,200 signatures urging the Poway Unified School District to not make changes to its current practices. The student who started the petition, identified by the Union Tribune as 17-year-old transgender student Siobhan Garry, said that “every student finds changing in the locker room fairly uncomfortable to a certain degree.” The student did not have an issue with private changing areas.
Franz said she wants the district to make students aware of a transgender student using an opposite-sex bathroom and to install curtains or another means of privacy.
A spokesperson for the district told the Union Tribune that Franz's notification proposal would violate privacy laws.
Kathie Moehlig did not speak at the school board meeting, but she told the Union Tribune that she was a representative of the family of the transgender student in question. Moehlig said that “this is the first issue I'm aware of that anyone has brought up with [the state law]” and that “in working with people at the Transgender Law Center in California, it's the first one that they know of.”
A person familiar with the debate who was in the room on Tuesday told LifeSiteNews that both sides were largely in agreement with each other and that the debate was over misunderstandings. The person said that Franz said the transgender student was ill-treated by having to change in a bathroom stall for privacy purposes and that privacy concerns were shared by both sides.
The state left how to implement the transgender law up to each district, said the anonymous person, which has caused confusion as unpredicted scenarios occur. Five people from each side were allowed to speak, though supporters of the existing law seemed to be louder and more numerous, LifeSiteNews was told.
The debate took place during the school board's section for public comment, which means the board doesn't have to act on what was discussed.