The Horry County School Board voted unanimously to put in place a policy that will adhere to the current Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling regarding transgender student use of the bathrooms.
Chairman Joe DeFeo said students with concerns about bathroom use should go to their respective school administration to work out a plan. This can include students who don’t want to potentially use a bathroom with a transgender student.
The board also voted unanimously to file an amicus curiae brief with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the Gloucester (VA) County School Board in their ongoing G.G. v Gloucester County lawsuit over transgender useage of gender bathrooms of the gender with which they identify.
Several board members felt the need to add that they were supporting the motions only to follow the law, but they disagreed with the current court ruling because of their conservative Christian values.
By Paul Gable
The Horry County School Board is trying to work its way out of the center of a transgender storm regarding bathroom usage in schools.
After the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recorded a 2-1 decision in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester (VA) County recently, a student who had been suspended for one day for using a school bathroom not of the student’s “birth-assigned sex” threatened to sue Horry County Schools.
The student is represented by the Transgender Law Center of California, which sent a letter to the school district threatening the law suit.
Just in the last several days, Horry County School Board members and Superintendent Rick Maxey received an email with two attachments from an attorney of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Scottsdale, Arizona headquartered organization with a branch in Georgia.
The subject of the email is: “Schools Are Not Legally Required to Allow Students to Use Opposite-Sex Restrooms, Showers, and Changing Rooms.”
One of the email attachments “explains the recent decision in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board and dispels the myth that, following the decision, schools are required to allow students to use the restrooms of the opposite sex,” according to the email.
My first thought was why do a law center based in California and a non-profit organization headquartered in Arizona want to get involved in Horry County?
My second thought, an answer to the first, was so that these two organizations can bring their causes into the national spotlight, using Horry County to test the Fourth Circuit ruling. You know, the old 15 minutes of fame or, in this case, maybe 15 years of fame for these organizations.
Do we want our school board to get in the middle of a national legal fight over transgender rights, equal protection, Title IX, discrimination and the like or do we want them concentrating on educating our children?
Remember, any public money spent on fighting lawsuits is money taken away from our children’s education. And we certainly don’t want to have to raise taxes just to be the center of national media attention.
It will also be interesting to see if the Alliance Defending Freedom finds some group to represent who wants to sue Horry County Schools if the school district does not follow the path they wish.
Horry County Schools and the suspended student have already been the subjects of one CNN article.
Monday morning, May 2nd, the Horry County School Board is holding a special session where it is expected to consider a resolution to follow the law, as it is currently defined by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision and file an amicus curiae brief in support of the Gloucester County position in future anticipated court hearings.
In other words, let the Gloucester County case play out in the various court venues it may include as far as a Supreme Court decision if it goes that far.
The Horry County School Board will, then, determine what steps it must take, if any, once the case is ultimately settled.
This seems the prudent, logical approach rather than doing something that will get Horry County into the middle of a national media spotlight.