Local schools are supposed to be run by local taxpayers and parents.  Now bureaucrats in Washington D.C. believe they can determine who enters the bathroom with your son or daughter, even if that person happens to be of the opposite sex.

The New Hampshire School Boards Association (NHSBA) drafted a model policy for school boards to adopt.  New Hampshire parents and taxpayers never asked for this kind of a new policy.  Instead the U.S. Department of Education, using their threats of intimidation and coercion, are now informing schools that they need to develop a new non-discrimination policy for transgender students based on Title IX. AND, if they don’t develop these new policies, they risk losing Title IX funding.

The Candia proposed policy is based on a model policy coming from the New Hampshire School Boards Association.  The Candia School Board will be discussing this at a school board meeting on April 7th at 6pm in the Moore Cafeteria.  This new policy has already caused some concern for parents in the district.

The policy first requires that all programs activities and employment be free from discrimination based on sex, sexual preference and gender identity.  This leaves out a large number of individuals who may be discriminated against.  For instance, where is the provision for religion or body type ? Those who subscribe to religious beliefs or have to manage a weight issue have been discriminated against but have been left out of the language in this new policy.

Candia transgender policy

Similar policies are being developed in local school districts across the state and most parents are not aware of it. This latest push by the Federal bureaucrats is leaving some parents wondering, who controls their school now?

In addition to that important question, are these policies based on reliable information from the U.S. Department of Education or are they purposely leaving out information that local board members need in order to make these important policy decisions.?   After 40 years of Title IX on the books, the U.S. Department of Education now wants to assert a new interpretation of the law?

Parents are concerned for their children now that these policies include language allowing children of the opposite sex to use the bathroom and locker room.  Anyone with a teenager knows that there is a possibility of that “one student” taking advantage of a policy like this in order to gain access to the locker or bathroom.  This was already done in Washington after a man decided to test the new Transgender law and undress in the women’s locker room at a neighborhood pool.  When the women tried to kick him out, he referenced the new law and his right to be there.

These are the kind of situations that have caused parents to question and even oppose these new policies.

Every student’s privacy and safety matter.  School policies should respect the needs of all children. School boards should craft policies that are both respectful of the privacy concerns of all children and sensitive to the diverse needs of individual children.  No child should be forced into an intimate setting– like a restroom or locker room– with another child of the opposite sex.  We need to sympathize with children who have difficult personal issues to work through.  But teenage boys shouldn’t be permitted to deal with those issues in intimate settings with young girls.

A sensible policy that is objective and enforceable is one that ensures single sex access to areas where children undress or engage in other private activities.

Schools have broad discretion to handle these delicate matters in ways that make sense based on their school’s unique needs and facilities.  The federal government has no legal authority to regulate what restroom children use in our local schools, let alone issue threats against those schools willing to comply with its radical agenda.  The Obama administration is flat out wrong when it tells schools that Title IX requires them to open children’s restrooms to the opposite sex.  The federal government has no business dictating what restrooms school children must use.  Is there nothing our out-of-control federal government will not try to regulate?

The New Hampshire School Boards Association is doing a disservice to the local communities throughout New Hampshire by pushing this new model policy on our schools and children. A school district’s primary duty is to protect its students. Allowing boys to play on girls’ sports teams is unfair and it poses great physical risk to girls, particularly at the middle school and high school level. The school district should honor its duty to parents and children, not expose itself to lawsuits from students whose privacy and safety are threatened by unnecessary policy changes.

Forcing children to share restrooms, showers and even hotel rooms with the opposite sex is an invasion of privacy for children who deserve to be safe in intimate settings while away from home.

For more information on why schools do not have to allow transgender students to use restrooms of the opposite sex see: http://parentsrightsined.net/perch/resources/adf-title-ix-myths-facts-designed.pdf

For a sample policy that is considerate of all students see: http://www.adfmedia.org/files/StudentPhysicalPrivacyPolicy.pdf

“Under current law, neither states nor school districts will lose Title IX funding for enacting laws and policies that require students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their biological sex.” (source Alliance Defending Freedom)
No Loss of Federal Funding – ADF

It’s up to parents and school board members to listen to what the local community wants for their schools and the students who attend them.  Adopting a policy that takes into consideration students who desire greater privacy when using a facility without ignoring the privacy needs of the other students is a common sense approach that takes into consideration the needs of all of the students.  This why many schools have made accommodations for transgender students to have access to a private restroom.

The New Hampshire School Boards Association is funded by parents and taxpayers but again, fails to offer them the kind of common sense policies we expect.  Parents and taxpayers would be wise to eliminate the funding to the NHSBA through the dues they pay in their annual school budget.  If the NHSBA cannot adequately present all information in and offer a common sense policy, it’s time to stop paying their administrators dues to fund their six figure salaries.

Ann Marie Banfield currently volunteers as the Education Liaison for Cornerstone Action in New Hampshire. She has been researching education reform for over a decade and actively supports parental rights, literacy and academic excellence in k-12 schools. You can reach her at: abanfield@nhcornerstone.org