Virginia school board unanimously rejects Obama’s transgender bathroom mandate
INDEPENDENCE, VA, May 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - A Virginia school board unanimously approved an ordinance on Friday resisting the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom edict and requiring students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex.
The ordinance, which immediately took effect, allows public school students in Grayson County, Virginia, to request to use a single-stall facility but prevents them from accessing facilities that don’t correspond with their biological sex.
The Obama administration has threatened to pull federal funding from schools that do not allow males to access facilities designated for females, like locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms. Under the administration’s new guidelines, male and female students must be allowed to share hotel rooms on school trips.
Kelly Wilmore, the superintendent of Grayson County Public Schools, told LifeSiteNews that the ordinance was passed in response to requests from parents. He said the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of it.
“I can’t tell you how many calls we had, but we had more calls than we could count,” asking us to take action on this issue, said Wilmore. He said he hasn’t received a single negative response from his constituents.
Passing the ordinance “was a community thought,” Wilmore said. “It wasn’t the politics of just the Republican side…it was a lot of people on the other side of the fence too [who] are really having concerns with who has access to the bathrooms.”
“From my standpoint, I don’t get into politics,” Wilmore told LifeSiteNews. “I don’t get into that nonsense…I work for the kids.” Wilmore said the policy protects the privacy of all students and prevents teenagers and adults from misusing the policy to access the other sex’s showers and restrooms for nefarious purposes.
“My concerns have been safety and privacy from day one,” said Wilmore, not the politics of it.
“It’s not that hard to claim that you’re now a transgender student,” Wilmore continued. “All you gotta do is have a note from your parents, go and talk to the principal, and suddenly you’re transgender.”
He added that the new policy protects transgender students from being harassed in bathrooms and intimate facilities.
Wilmore said he doesn’t anticipate legal action from the Obama administration because there are no students claiming to be transgender in Grayson County Public Schools.
“I don’t know how they can come after me, because no one really can make a complaint because we don’t have anyone in that category,” said Wilmore.
If the school district does face legal action, though, Wilmore said they have a plan.
“The policy we adopted was written by the Alliance Defending Freedom organization,” and they “claim that if we adopt their policy and it is contested” they will come to the school district’s defense for free, Wilmore said.
Wilmore said that in the past, Grayson County Public Schools have had a single stall bathroom available for students if necessary and the district will continue to offer that option. This option is available precisely because the school district values the privacy of students with gender identity issues, Wilmore said, and wants to protect all of its kids.
“I hate to see anybody get singled out, but I want to see them safe, too,” said Wilmore. “I love all the kids, whether we have a kid that’s straight, gay, transgender, it doesn’t matter.”
Grayson County is home to just one high school.