I have family and friends with children in the Hillsboro School District. That this issue is taking place here, a rural community about 45 minutes south of St. Louis, is pretty unbelievable. A young man, a senior in high school, has decided to “identify” as a girl and was given use of the gender-neutral faculty restroom. It wasn't a good enough option; he demanded use of the girls's locker rooms and restrooms as well, a move which made the girls extremely uncomfortable. Many students and parents oppose:
There were so many people who showed up to Thursday night’s school board meeting that they had to move it into the gym, something that has not happened for a regular meeting in the past. This topic was not even on the agenda, but it was clear why most parents were in attendance, judging from the thunderous applause and standing ovation after one parent spoke.
Parents said their daughters were uncomfortable, because even though Perry wears dresses and a wig, she is still physically a male.
Derrick Good, a parent of two girls at Hillsboro and an attorney, worked with other parents and a conservative advocacy group to draft a new school district policy on the issue, which he believes would be upheld in court. The policy calls for students to use a restroom associated with the gender they were born with, or a gender neutral restroom.
“They should have the ability to do whatever they need to do in the privacy of the bathroom without having a male in there,” Good said. “They have a right to their own bodily privacy, and I’ve raised my girls, and many of these parents have raised their girls, to protect that privacy. They don’t share that with members of the opposite sex.”
Good said the school district is concerned about stripped funding if a civil rights lawsuit came their way, but he feels the school board should be more concerned with his daughters’ rights to personal privacy.
(A programming note, Good will be on my radio program today which starts at noon central.)
Where is the consideration for these girls? For their parents? Why was the gender neutral restroom no longer suitable? The option still stands and is available for the young man's use.
[Perry] told teachers and administrators at Hillsboro High School, where she is a senior, that she would no longer be content to use a unisex faculty bathroom. She wanted to be treated like other female students, including access to bathrooms and locker rooms for girls.
“I wasn’t hurting anyone. I didn’t want to be in something gender-neutral,” she said, referring to the faculty bathroom administrators encouraged her to use. “I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom.”
Unfortunately, he isn't like other female students because he isn't female. He also doesn't get to determine what's best for hundreds of young girls or judge their reaction. Hundreds of students walked out in protest. The young man claims the girls are bigots for wanting to be comfortable while undressing:
“I think this is pure and simple bigotry I think they are using their claim they are uncomfortable, to target me a transgender woman.” said transgender student Lila Perry.
Said student Sophie Beel:
“I find it offensive because Lila has not went through any procedure to become female, putting on a dress and putting on a wig is not transgender to me.” said student Sophie Beel.
She's right. The female gender is more than a wig and dresses. It's more than fake boobs and lipstick. It's offensive that the view of what it is to be a woman is boiled down to cosmetic appearances. Furthermore, it's offensive that this sexist, patriarchal attack on young, minor girls is a legitimate consideration with the school board. These girls have a right to bodily privacy. They have a right to modesty with their bodies and a right to feel comfortable in school and as they dress out for gym and afterschool athletics. It's horrific that a male is attempting to victim-shame these girls into giving up their right to a safe and comfortable atmosphere when they undress or use the restroom.