STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Secretary of Education is taking on the Stillwater Public School District over the district’s bathroom policy.
Transgender students at Stillwater Public Schools have been able to use the restroom of their gender identity for years, but some people are now speaking out on the measure.
“Currently, SPS sites have restrooms labeled for males and females along with at least one gender-neutral, individual-use restroom at each site. The Office of Civil Rights- the federal agency charged with safeguarding equal access to education, including enforcement actions over recipients of federal funds, such as Stillwater Public Schools- recognizes that Title IX protects all students, including students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, from harassment and other forms of sexual discrimination. These protections extend to use of school restrooms, allowing individuals to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity. Any student uncomfortable using the traditional male/female restrooms at any site may utilize individual-use facilities,” the letter stated.
The district says it hasn’t received any reports of any inappropriate restroom behavior related to a student’s gender identity.
“Current district restroom practices have been in place for more than six years, but recently several members of the community have spoken out against the district’s practices at board meetings, on social media, and in conversation. Among these individuals are those with opinions, often tied to deeply held personal beliefs and convictions, that SPS should change its policy and force transgender students to use separate restroom facilities or the restroom of their birth certificate gender, counter to Title IX. The district does not seek to belittle any individual’s beliefs, but it must act in fervent support of all individuals” civil rights and in accordance with the laws of the United States,” the letter continued.
One recent opponent to the policy is Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters.
Walters sent letters to the Stillwater Board of Education and the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office to urge them to prohibit biological males from using girls’ bathrooms in public schools.
“Your incorrect interpretation of Title IX and use of court cases with no jurisdiction over Oklahoma gives you no right to allow men to use the girls’ restrooms in our schools. The US Department of Education’s rules, that your school board claims ordered this travesty, simply allowed school districts to choose their own path- and Stillwater has chosen poorly.
You have chosen radicals over your students, ideology over biology, and ‘wokeness’ over safety.
Today I am asking you to work with your fellow board members to make it so that your students only use the bathroom of their God-given natural sex. Biological males should not receive unrestricted access to women’s restrooms, leaving our young girls uncomfortable and afraid to enter them during school.
If your board fails to reverse from this present course, I will do everything in my power to protect the children of Stillwater and restore safety and common sense. I urge you to take immediate action to halt your ‘woke’ agenda, rectify this injustice, and put the true needs of our students first.”Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters