Update: Leon County Schools discusses gender-neutral bathroom facility policy
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County School Board voted unanimously to approve revisions to the Leon County Schools Inclusive School Guide for LCS Employees.
The revisions address the designation of bathrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms, and will help provide spaces with more privacy for students who are transgender, nonbinary or have medical needs that require privacy.
The Board heard from parents and community members who spoke in support of the guide. Several board members, notably Laurie Lawson Cox and Rosanne Wood, gave lengthy statements voicing their support for the inclusive guide.
Vice Chair Rosanne Wood also shared statistics showing that transgender kids often experience depression and suicidal thoughts at much higher rates. She emphasized that it is important to protect all children.
Jennifer Koslow, a parent of a transgender student and one of the speakers at the meeting, said most kids just want to fit in and this guide will help transgender kids’ lives feel more normal.
“Hopefully what’s next is our child can just move through his day without any fears, without any worries, and just focus on doing his homework so that his mother will stop bothering him about it,” Koslow said.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Members of the Leon County School Board Tuesday are discussing a new bathroom policy as part of the school district’s guidelines for LGBTQIA+ students.
The revisions to the guidelines, if approved, would provide a gender-neutral, single-occupancy bathroom in every school building and would allow Leon County Schools to align with changes under the “Parental Rights in Education Law.”
The school district was previously told it needed to revise its policy to come into compliance.
Under their previous guidelines for the LGBTQIA+ student community, student bathrooms were separated by gender identity.
LCS referenced a St. John’s County case in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the court ruled a single occupancy bathroom is not in violation of Title IX.
“The way the policy procedure is written going before the board tonight is that bathrooms will be separated according to biological sex at birth,” said Will Spillias, Leon County Schools General Counsel. “With the accommodation, so to speak, of single occupancy bathrooms for anyone that wants to use them.”
Spillias said every school in the district already has a single occupancy bathroom to accommodate students.
If approved, the changes will go into effect Wednesday, Jan. 25.
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