Classes are set to start this week for Lee County’s public schools, and one topic that has been a hot-button issue is the restroom policies for transgender students.
The ongoing topic will have a lot of parents keeping a close eye on the situation. They have been very vocal in the last few months about their concerns.
School board leaders voted earlier this year to take out a controversial LGBTQ-rights poster in the Code of Conduct. The poster led to heated debates over transgender students using the restroom of the gender they identify with.
The staff is working to create a new guidebook on how to handle those situations.
Interim Superintendent Ken Savage explained there is a lot more to this process and how the policy works.
He said transgender students and their families have to go through several steps before they can go ahead and use the restroom for their gender identity. Another point he mentioned is schools are not building or assigning restrooms for these students.
“We just need to provide our schools the most support we possibly can. But at the same time, we also have to help families, we have an obligation to help families, you know, unpack some of these very difficult issues. And so that’s something we continue to work on.”
Savage wants to remind everyone that even though we all may have different ideas or beliefs, we’re a community and when we speak about these topics, we need to be respectful of each other.
“I’m not here to change your beliefs,” Savage said. “I’m not here to tell you, you have the wrong ideology. I value it, I value that difference. But I would encourage everyone to be as disciplined as we can to really pursue truth and facts.”