Transgender bathroom policy causes backlash among some parents at Anthony Wayne

Superintendent addresses rumors in open letter to community
Anthony Wayne transgender bathroom policy draws ire
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 11:26 PM EDT
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WHITEHOUSE, Ohio (WTVG) - Inside Anthony Wayne schools, some parents are concerned about who’s using what bathroom.

“Why should they have to be concerned with using a bathroom to where a lot of potential situations could arise?” asked Jim Gibbons, a parent of twin 8th graders at Anthony Wayne Junior High. “I understand we have some transgender students in the district, but there needs to be designated bathrooms for those students.”

The topic is gaining interest because of an online petition titled “Protect AW students! Stop the threatening new restroom policy at Anthony Wayne Schools!” It claims, “Our superintendent, Jim Fritz, has recently enacted a new, unwritten restroom policy for the Anthony Wayne School District to appease a minority of students in our schools. This new policy allows students to choose which restroom they use, not based on their biological sex, but based on which gender the student “feels” they are. This means that on any given day and at any given time, a male student can decide to enter the female restrooms and vice versa. This is exceptionally indecent on many levels.”

Superintendent Dr. Jim Fritz responded with a letter to the community. In part, he writes, “There are transgender students who attend AWLS. Just as with any student, building administrators work to identify potential concerns, set expectations and keep the lines of communication open ...

“Each student’s needs are determined on a case-by-case basis, yet nearly all choose to use the restroom of their biological sex or an individual-use restroom. However, transgender students do have the right to use the restroom based on their sexual identity. Remember, these restrooms have private stalls for students to use.”

He goes on to state, “Transgender students do have the right to use school facilities in accordance with their sexual identity based on case law that has jurisdiction in Ohio. 1 AWLS is prohibited from denying a transgender student access to a restroom consistent with their gender identity. It would constitute sex discrimination based on Title IX or the Equal Protection Clause. Additionally, Board Policy 2 prohibits discriminatory harassment based on sex, including gender identity...

“While there have been differently decided cases in other legal jurisdictions, they do not have not have authority over Ohio. The District will continue to consult with its attorneys to stay up-to-date with any related court cases and federal and state laws associated with the use of school facilities by transgender students in Ohio public schools.”

Law or not, some parents are organizing to demand answers directly from the school board during an upcoming meeting Monday, April 10, 2023.

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