NEWS RELEASE: Marion County School Board Approves “Gender Inspection” Resolution

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Posted on April 27, 2016 - 3:39pm by Brittany.

 
Marion County School Board Approves “Gender Inspection” Resolution

Resolution puts transgender youth at risk for further harassment and bullying

(April 27, 2016) Yesterday, the Marion County School Board approved a North Carolina-style Gender Inspection resolution that will prohibit transgender students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. 

Over 100 people showed up to the School Board meeting last night where this resolution was brought forward as an “emergency” agenda item just six days after it was introduced. Forty-six people testified at the hearing, and the majority of testimony was in strong opposition to this Gender Inspection resolution, which was set to be enforced today.

This reckless resolution passed last night, April 26th, on a 4-1 vote with strong opposition from both School Board Chair Bobby James and Superintendent George Tomyn. Chair James expressed concerns about compliance with Title IX and the federal Office of Civil Rights. Superintendent Tomyn raised procedural concerns regarding the “emergency” nature of the resolution, questioning whether there was truly an immediate danger to community. In his remarks Tomyn recommended the Board “not act based on fear or political expediency.”

Every student needs to use the restroom, and every student expects safety and privacy when using them. However, this Gender Inspection resolution would invade everyone’s personal and medical privacy. This resolution would require all students to provide proof that their anatomy matches either the sex on their birth certificate or the sign at the door of a restroom. Gender Inspection resolutions are unenforceable, inappropriate, and have no basis in fact. 

The School Board members received legal memos from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union, both of which clearly argued that this resolution is in direct violation of federal law. 

 

 
Equality Florida is proud to have stood side-by-side with local advocates against this resolution and we are committed to protecting all Floridians from discrimination, including and especially those most vulnerable to harassment - our transgender students,” said Hannah Willard, Public Policy & Outreach Coordinator with Equality Florida. “The LGBTQ community in Marion County is strong but shaken. Our work is far from over, and we have already begun exploring our next steps to ensure that all students, including those who are transgender and gender nonconforming, feel safe and protected in their schools.”

"While other school boards across the state are working to promote safe and inclusive learning environments, Marion County passed a policy that puts transgender students at risk,” added Gina Duncan, Transgender Inclusion Director with Equality Florida. “By adopting this unenforceable resolution, Marion County has just become the North Carolina of school boards.” 

For more information about dangerous Gender Inspection policies, please visit: 
eqfl.org/genderinspectionpolicy

 
 

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