It Just Takes Common Sense! – Gender Neutral Bathrooms

              Paulette Woods

              Paulette Woods

The lobbyist, self-interest groups,  social workers, psychologists, and agencies for the LBGTQ protected their jobs and self-interest.  These people, who are paid and earn their living from these issues, stacked the recent public hearings and called immediately to fill up the 30 spaces for speakers at the school board meetings. 

 On Wednesday, August 24th a School Board meeting was held at City Hall to address parent and student concerns about the BPS proposed Transgender Policy.  Transgender is a person born a boy who identifies as a girl or born a girl but identifies as a boy.  This is less than 2% of the school population. 150 people showed up to the board meeting, but only two parents of the 98% majority students got to speak, although the Baptist Minister’s Association had 11 members at the hearing.  Also, concerned parents with their five year old daughters in the audience, and other concerned majority parents were not able to speak.   All we heard from were lobbyist with self –interest, rather than the 80% majority of the school children who are Black and Hispanic. 

The same thing happened at the Merriweather Library public hearing. The parents of the majority of students in Buffalo Public School (the 80% African American and Hispanic students)  were not allowed to speak, until Byron McIntyre a parent, and DPCC member loudly protested the disenfranchisement of the parent voices who were over 100 + strong in the audience. He demanded the format of the meeting be changed to hear from parents rather than paid advocates.  The meeting was changed from an education meeting conducted by transgender advocates to a meeting for feedback from parents of students with children in the Buffalo School System.

The proposed policy states: “Transgender student should be allowed to use restrooms that align with their gender identity.” In other words, A BOY WITH MALE GENITALIA (PENIS) CAN USE THE “GIRLS” BATHROOM, LOCKER ROOM AND SHOWER.  Many fathers of five year old daughters have said “they don’t want boys in bathrooms with their babies.  Sex education does not begin with full frontals in the bathroom, locker room or shower.” Where are the provisions to protect the privacy rights of their daughters?  Does the 98% have any privacy or modesty rights!

Many of the boy students have no problem withGIRLS WITH FEMALE GENITALIA (BREAST & VAGINA) USING THE BOY’S BATHROOM, LOCKER ROOM AND SHOWER.  Some feel they can help show the person what the female genitalia is used for and help the person to appreciate her birth sex.  A responsible parent of a child born with female organs would not advise her daughter to go into a bathroom full of hormone raging teenage boys. Let’s use common sense!  Let’s protect the transgender student (born girl but identifies as a boy) by providing gender neutral bathrooms and walls instead of stalls in other bathroom to give privacy to all students especially in showers and changing areas.  This could be a non-issue by spending a little money to protect and provide privacy for transgender students.

The School regulation recently sent down from the federal level mandating boys in the ladies room, was struck down as illegal! By the courts.  Regulations can not supersede existing laws.there is no longer the threat of the federal government taking school federal aid revenue. The buffalo school has time to craft a transgender policy that respects all students rights. It only takes a little common sense, build wall instead of stalls, identify or build neutral gender bathrooms.

The transgender bathroom issue and the anti-bullying issue can easily be resolved with common sense and a little respect for all the dignity of children.  The constitution guarantees religious freedom, and the rights for all children : The constitution states:  All men (women) are created equal with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “  This promise is Not just to protected classes! African American’s (race) have been a protected class since the 14th Amendment, but we are still be shot down in the streets, so much for protected class protection.  Mutual concern and respect goes a long way.

The majority of students, parents and adults sincerely want to protect the transgender students; it doesn’t take much love or reciprocity for the transgender students to respect and acknowledge the privacy rights of the vast majority of their fellow students.

(Ms. Woods is the Central District Representative on the Buffalo Board of Education.)