FAIRFAX COUNTY, Virginia, July 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — One of the first school districts to adopt a transgender bathroom policy has cancelled its implementation for the time being.
The Fairfax County School Board met in closed session last week and then proceeded to hold off on its controversial policy allowing boys in the girls' locker rooms. A staff session explaining and discussing the policy was also dropped.
“We are pleased to see Fairfax County School Board take a step back, listen to the valid concerns of parents and students in the district, and delay implementing a policy that would have severe consequences for the privacy and safety of their students,” Matt Sharp, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, told LifeSiteNews.
“It is these same concerns that led to 24 states and governors suing the Obama Administration over the locker room/bathroom mandate that requires every school to allow boys into girls’ facilities.”
Fairfax was one of the first school boards to pass a non-discrimination policy, including gender self-identity, in May 2015 — a year ahead of President Obama’s announced interpretation of Title IX anti-discrimination law applying to self-designated transgender students.
The Fairfax board decided to put the application specifics of their policy “temporarily on hold” because similar policies are being challenged in the courts. Twenty-three states have joined North Carolina challenging the Obama Administration over its threats to withhold federal funds to schools that keep gender-specific bathrooms.
Besides legal concerns, some school board members reportedly expressed concerns about the privacy and dignity of non-transgender students. Nevertheless, the school board says it is “committed to this policy of non-discrimination,” according to board chairwoman Sandy Evans.
“We are hopeful that Fairfax County will realize that there are better solutions, such as making available several single-stall restrooms for use by any student who desires greater privacy while also maintaining the distinct facilities for boys and girls,” Sharp concluded.
According to its website, the school board is “continuing to closely evaluate and monitor the legal implications, as well as the community’s questions through the start of the 2016-17 school year. Before any implementation or formal adoption of the regulation, the board will provide additional information and further opportunity for public comment on this important topic.”
The Washington Post called it “a step backward,” reflecting “trumped-up fears about student safety.”
The school board did not reschedule the cancelled staff meeting to explain policy implementation.