Perkiomen Valley School District does not pass controversial bathroom policy

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Perkiomen Valley School District considers new bathroom policy
Perkiomen Valley School District considers new bathroom policy

PERKIOMEN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Perkiomen Valley School Board did not pass a controversial bathroom policy during a vote on Monday night in Montgomery County.

Policy 720 would have required students to use bathrooms that align with their biological sex-- meaning transgender students would not be allowed to use the restrooms that correlate with their gender identities.

The proposal was sparked by a recent social media post by a dad who says his daughter encountered someone she thought may have been a boy in the bathroom.

"The fact of the matter is, my daughter will go to school and not use a restroom here now," said Tim Jagger, who made the social media post.

He admits that neither he nor his daughter are 100% sure if the person she saw was a transgender person. "She is too upset and emotionally disturbed to walk into a restroom."

Jagger was among the residents speaking at last week's school board meeting, which included a discussion of the issue.

Another person who addressed the board said there was "no factual evidence saying that the other person in the restroom was trans or a man in any way."

The Perkiomen Valley School board president supported the policy, which states that multi-use restrooms and locker rooms designated for one sex will be used only by that sex. Other students will be offered single-use restrooms.

"Do we think it's accurate and fair that students should have access to any bathroom they want depending on how they identify? Do we think that's appropriate? It's my personal opinion. I don't," said Saylor.

The superintendent of Perkiomen Valley schools, though, said a new bathroom policy is not necessary.

"We have Policy 103, which is non-discrimination in Title IX, it calls out gender identification as a protected class," said Superintendent Barbara Russell.

Tarren McDonnell spoke at a previous meeting recalling her own experience of being bullied as a transgender student at Perkiomen Valley High School.

Those experiences, she said, included being harassed by boys when she went into the boys' bathroom and being teased when students noticed she was going to the nurse's office to use the restroom.

"I think that, you know, people understand that change can be tough, but it's, it's really, I think we're moving forward," she said. "I think people just need to get more used to it."

Meanwhile, Pennridge School District in Bucks County recently enacted its own bathroom policy after a 7-1 vote.

SEE ALSO: Pennridge School Board passes new bathroom policy in heated meeting