School District Faces Outrage Over Controversial Bathroom Decision

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SELINSGROVE -- A school district in Snyder County is taking the heat over a controversial decision to allow transgender students use the bathroom of their choosing.

The Selinsgrove Area School District implemented that at the start of the school year but didn’t tell parents until after classes had begun.

Tempers flared at Selinsgrove Area School Board meeting Monday night after parents learned about a controversial decision to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they associate with.

The district began using the practice at the start of the school year but didn't inform parents until after classes had begun.

“What prompted the letter to be sent home on October 17?” asked parent Polly Welch. “What situation arose that suddenly made it necessary to inform the parents within this district that you had enacted this policy behind their backs?”

The board meeting follows a public forum the board held last week to discuss this issue and it's clear parents still had plenty to say.

“You've betrayed and lost our trust as parents by implementing a policy directly compromising all of our children's paramount right to privacy,” said parent Ray Grover.

However, the board explained that allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice is not official school policy.

The superintendent says the district decided just to implement this practice based on its interpretation of federal guidelines under Title IX from both the Departments of Justice and Education as well as on advice from a lawyer.

“The basis of Title IX also includes what is called gender identity so the interpretation says that school districts cannot discriminate based on their gender identity,” said Superintendent Chad Cohrs.

While most speakers were overwhelmingly against what the district is doing, there are some who support it, including two transgender women who spoke at the meeting and two seniors who came to the meeting.

“I think that these kids are just trying to use a bathroom and the parents who are against it are seeing it as a right to privacy and not a trans issue but it affects the trans community,” said senior Jonah Roth.

School officials say the decision to do this came from both the potential loss of federal funding and the possibility of opening the district up to a discrimination lawsuit.


  • Get Real

    No use dwelling on what should have or could have been done. The school district is in a tight spot today. With litigation all but certain, they should take the safest course. They acted in accordance to Department of Education guidance. If their guidance where to change, the school district would respond accordingly. The “dear colleague letter” is now a crutch that they can lean on if a “liability” question ever arose. To go back to a trans-exclusive position now, you would have no crutch, and real damages could be assessed. Which ever side you are on, at least realize that much. Adherence to the best practices, which accompanied the dear colleague letter, would further insulate the district from damages. The cat is out of the bag.

  • Am I missing something?

    I peed and pooped in the school bathroom, I never “changed clothes” except in Gym Class and that was in a private stall? Why is this suddenly an issue?

  • AAORD11

    For Obama to say basically conform to my view or lose federal funding is insane. This should be left up to individual school districts to decide what is best. Then for Selinsgrove to enact this policy without letting the parents know. That is just ridiculous. If my daughter went to school and ended up changing with a boy who now identifies with as a “girl”, I would have a huge issue with that. This whole situation has gotten crazy. These weren’t even issues, until Obama rammed his LGBT agenda down everyone’s throats. What happened to traditional values and a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl.

    • Get Real

      AAORD11, except that Transgender girls are girls and transgender boys are boys, even if you don’t believe in the science. Also, both sides of this issue agreed over 6 months ago that a loss of funding is not an immediate threat.

  • Erin Fuller

    Wilful ignorance on the part of commenter’s will not change facts or alter the real life experiences of Transgender/Transsexual individuals credited medical institutions lik the American Medical Association or the American Psychological Association as well as the American Pediatric Association all have since dropped their diagnosis of Transgender/Transsexualisim as a mental defect disease or condition! Your unwillingness to accept facts won’t change those facts! The exact cause of why a individual may reject their ASSIGNED gender and sex anatomy have yet to be confirmed. A few causes are being scrutinized man made synthetic compounds are one source these synthetic compounds mimic natural human hormones that developing fetus’s need. Substances like BPA in plastic products or DES a substance previously marketed as a prenatal vitamin BPA or Bisephenol-A has been banned by the FDA but it is still present it can’t be eliminated it’s the plastic products themselves. DES or Diethielstillbestrol was a synthetic hormone 56,000 x more potent than modern birth control. These substances alone are known endocrine disruptors and cause sexual reproductive birth defects as wellmas psychosexual birth defects. The internet is filled with the correct up to date science.

    • Writer Girl

      What you say might be true, and in this sue-happy society and with school age confused kids, I can see where organizations might be forced to cooperate. Still, the problem of gender identity is theirs, not that of the rest of us.
      If this is going to be the future, then a separate transgender bathroom stall, should be considered. I don’t want to be doing my business next to someone who can’t even figure out what sex they are or with someone who might take advantage of this transgender stuff and be in the stalls for reasons other than going to the bathroom

      • Get Real

        Writer Girl: Except that the transgender girl absolutely realizes who and what she is. She most likely knew so from her earliest memories. The ‘confused’ ones are those who no nothing at all about the transgender condition, refuse to take the time to learn, and instead decided that it is easier to deny these children their basic human rights than it is to understand where they are coming from, and accept them for whom they truly are.

    • Sal

      they don’t want to hurt feelings and label them mentally ill. We are a nation of wooses. Now get me a blanket, puppy, crayons and a safe space.

      • Get Real

        Sal: What other group of people with a label of “mentally ‘Ill” is treated with so much disrespect, hate, and discrimination? If only we were elevated to the “mentally ill” status! Would that truly be better for you?

  • Jpw

    No doubt that those so against it are the same ones that have no problems with molesting Catholic priests, JoePaterno and Sandusky, Or or even many of the teachers wanting to get into the minds and pants of a 15 year old.

  • Go Figure.

    Once again ignorance hits small town America. People are scared of what they don’t understand and instead of educating themselves, they get angry and demand other’s rights be taken away.

    Boys are not going to enter the girls room “just because they can” if you have taught them appropriately and the same goes for girls. If you’re so worried about what boys or girls might do with these rules maybe, just maybe, you’re the ones to blames as parents; not the transgender students who are already suffering enough without your ignorance and misunderstandings.

    • Writer Girl

      Well, if you think all “big city” people will condone this think twice or move. No one is “afraid” or uneducated. It’s an uncomfortable situation for regular people who have no confusion about their sexuality. Why should their rights and way of doing things be changed to fit a small minority of people?

    • Get Real

      If Johnny IS transsexual, not only can he read and write, but will most likely academically rank at the top ten of his class. The more you know about this condition, the better you will feel. Ignorance isn’t really bliss.

      • Supporter of America

        So as you put it the issue of transgender a “condition.” That’s funny thought it was dna and chromasomes which determined ones “gender identity.” Sorry I may be one of those that could be better versed on the subject, but even I don’t call it a “condition.” People are born a certain way and that’s life, but there are certain kids/people that will abuse policy or law regardless; and those are the ones that I would be concerned with. Right or wrong my job is protect my kids, just like their parents re trying to do.

      • Get Real

        Supporter of America, I admire your admission of ignorance on this topic. Place your trust in the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, with a combined membership exceeding 400,000 medical professionals. Gender is not DETERMINED by DNA. Gender relies on a sequence of processes that occur in the womb. This science is not hard to find it one really wanted to know.

  • Bleepnoid

    the kids knew about but did not tell their parents. Parents are now up in arms. Perhaps rather than attacking the school, you should learn to talk to your kid. Oh yeah, Mr. 9-inch, your parents were probably the loudest at the meeting. He is an example of what is wrong, not those with transgender tendencies.


    All children possessing female anatomy, enter the Ladies Room. All children possessing male anatomy, enter the Men’s room. Wow, that’s really confusing.


    Anybody with female anatomy should use the ladies bathroom. Anybody with male anatomy should use the men’s bathroom. Period. Establishments should honor bathroom privacy for those who identify with their own sex!
    If the school wishes to honor the requests/demands of the Transgenders and people who don’t identify with their own gender, then the school should build separate bathrooms for them.
    If you cut through all of the BULL, then what you have at that school now is Co-Ed bathrooms. Unless ALL of the students are comfortable with Co-Ed bathrooms, then they shouldn’t exist.

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