All across America, parents, teachers, and local school districts have been having conversations about how best to accommodate the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of students who identify as transgender while also addressing the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of other students. Schools found win-win solutions, such as the creation of single-occupancy restrooms and changing facilities for students who identify as transgender while retaining girls’ and boys’ rooms for biological girls and boys, but activists attacked these commonsense compromise policies as “transphobic.”
Parents, teachers, principals, and school administrators, in conjunction with students, tried to find win-win solutions for all of the parties involved and came up with appropriately nuanced proposals. These proposed solutions existed long before the recent surge in high-profile media attention on transgender issues, and details were being worked out at the local level without generating much controversy.
Schools facing this issue were sensitive to the feelings of embarrassment and discomfort that students who identify as transgender would face were they to be required to share bathrooms or locker rooms with persons of the same biological sex. At the same time, they recognized that students of the other biological sex also had dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of their own.
The solution that schools generally settled upon was to give the student who identified as transgender limited access to other facilities—such as faculty facilities, the teacher’s lounge, or the faculty locker room—or to provide single-occupancy restrooms for any student that did not feel comfortable using a multiple-occupancy intimate facility. They found a way to accommodate both the student who identified as transgender and the rest of the students. These nuanced solutions addressed all involved and reflected their dignity, privacy, and safety concerns.
The whole idea of gender identity has caused a number of issues in our schools today. Biological boys who identify as girls playing in sports for girls is one of the major issues. This has proven to put biological girls at a severe disadvantage. How would you propose to handle this issue?
The second major problem is having biological boys who identify as girls use the girls’ locker and restrooms. As a father of girls, this would not be acceptable to me. How do you think schools should handle this issue?