NEWS RELEASE: Marion County School Board Approves “Gender Inspection” Resolution
Resolution puts transgender youth at risk for further harassment and bullying
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.) 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.
"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.”
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