NORTH MANCHESTER — Manchester Community Schools will hold a special meeting next week after parents voiced concerns about the district’s apparent enactment of a transgender policy.
The meeting, set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, comes after parents learned the school district was accommodating a young boy who identifies as a girl and prefers to use the girl’s restroom.
Parents have shown up twice in large numbers to discuss the issue and will have another chance Wednesday when the school board hosts a public meeting at the Manchester Community Schools Administration Building, 404 W. 9th St., North Manchester.
The purpose of the meeting is to share information on the topic and listen to input from the public, according to the school district.
More than 100 people attended Manchester Community Schools’ regular board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, but the topic was not brought up for discussion.
About 70 people met two days earlier at a church to discuss the policy and what could be done. Those in attendance included State Rep. Dave Wolkins and former US Congressman Marlin Stutzman.
According to a press release by Becky Hand, what prompted the interest began after one parent expressed concern over the fact his four daughters attend a school that allows biological boys who identify as girls to use the girls’ restroom.
“It has been confirmed by both Manchester Elementary Principal Amy Korus and Superintendent Dr. Teresa Gremaux that this is happening now,” said Gephart on his website protectingourchildren.net. “Boys can now go to the bathroom with your daughters. And yes, girls can now go to your sons’ bathroom.”
The website also includes a link to a petition to the school board regarding this policy.
Gremaux issued the following statement to InkFreeNews regarding the topic.
“Manchester Community Schools follows what is required by Title IX and case law interpreting Title IX regarding the treatment of a transgender student’s use of restroom and locker room facilities. No new practice or policy has been implemented or adopted. Transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room that corresponds with their gender identity. Manchester Community Schools accommodates any student who is uncomfortable with such practices by providing an alternate facility to use.”
The statement continued: “This is a topic that many school districts in the country are confronting and Manchester Community Schools continues to monitor the status of certain lawsuits that are currently pending in the federal court system for further guidance on this issue. Manchester Community Schools is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment for all of its students.”
Gremaux sent out a letter via Twitter ahead of the Dec. 10 meeting informing the public that the board would not discuss the transgender issue at the meeting, and announced plans for the Dec. 18 meeting. At the end of the board meeting, Gremaux thanked those in attendance for respecting the board’s wishes on addressing the subject and said she hopes that many will attend the workshop.
“We want to hear what you have to say,” said Gremaux.