Dispute ignites over transgender students’ bathroom use in Lincoln County

TROY, Mo. — Some parents in the Lincoln County R-III School District said they are concerned about their kids’ safety after some students claimed that transgender students are using whichever bathroom they choose to use.

Parents told FOX 2 it began as a rumor on social media that the middle school and high school were going to transition to gender-neutral bathrooms. Parents said that transgender students are now using restrooms of their choice.

David Woods currently has two younger students in the Lincoln County R-III School District. He said the idea of non-gendered bathrooms is a safety issue.

“It creates a huge risk factor that I find unacceptable for my children to be in,” said Woods. “As far as safety, this is a safety issue where you’re talking about potential boys that are four or five years older than a little girl in her bathroom. And that is a huge concern to me not acceptable.”

When asked if the district is allowing transgender students to pick any bathroom or locker room to use, the district responded, “No.”

Katie Gallup is also a parent in the school district and thinks the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms is a step in the right direction.

“I commend the school for doing things to protect these kids,” Gallup said. “I plead with these parents to please just show compassion to these children. Just because somebody’s not just like you, doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve protection they don’t deserve respect and dignity.”

Woods still doesn’t know if the co-ed bathrooms are a rumor or fact but said he plans to find out at next week’s board meeting.

“I need to know if I need to pull my kids out and homeschool them or put them in private school. Is there something else concrete? Is this something? I don’t know. we haven’t gotten any answers,” Woods said.

The district also sent the following statement:

The District complies with our long-standing Board of Education policy 1300, “In its programs and activities, the District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.”

The Board of Education regularly reviews its policies to ensure compliance with current judicial precedent and to best reflect our community values. The District actively monitors court decisions at all state and federal levels as these issues make their way through the judicial process. Most recently, the District has been made aware of cases in Gloucester County, Virginia and Jackson County, Missouri that we are watching closely. In regards to restroom and locker room usage in our District, our schools offer multiple options for students including gender specific spaces, as well as, individual gender-neutral facilities.

In accordance with federal and state laws, the District does not discuss individual student situations or personally-identifying information.

Students, parents, or community members are welcome and encouraged to put any concerns in writing to the Superintendent or Board of Education at [email protected] or [email protected]