Update: The Stillwater Public School Board voted unanimously on the following resolution:
“Be it therefore resolved that the board of education hereby encourages the Oklahoma Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Board of Education to promulgate an emergency rule that provides clear directives to all Oklahoma public school districts concerning the use of student restrooms, and guidance on how to implement such directives, and further encourages the governor to approve of such a rule.”
The board will send the resolution to the State Tuesday. They declined to comment further to KFOR after the meeting.
STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – The Stillwater Board of Education discussed their bathroom policy Monday evening amid growing controversy over it.
The policy, that they have had since 2015, allows transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.
The district is now seeking guidance from the Oklahoma State Department of Education and Board of Education after two letters were sent to the administration last week about the policy.
The Stillwater school board told KFOR Monday they are hoping for “…formal, binding directives concerning this matter” from the department. They added that they have “…received conflicting information from the state.”
“It needs to be each schools, each district’s decision taking into consideration how parents feel and the general consensus of the parents,” said Eva Turner, a Stillwater Public Schools graduate with kids who have been in, and grandkids who are currently in the district.
The district added that they have received guidance from the state department of education “in support of allowing students to use restrooms that align with their gender identity…”
However, they said they have received conflicting opinion from State Secretary of Education Ryan Walters.
He sent a letter to the district earlier this month urging them to end their policy.
“I feel like alienating any one child for any reason is completely against anything that I’ve ever stood for, believe in,” said Cyle Briggs ,a father with kids in the district.
Another letter was sent from State Attorney General John O’Connor:
However, some parents we spoke with, who have kids and grandkids in the district, understanding concerns, but still on the opposite end of that spectrum.
“There’s private restrooms at the facility, you know, there,” Briggs said. “So, if somebody is uncomfortable with something, they’re always more than welcome to use that.”
“You do need to be accommodate and respectful of everybody,” Turner said.
The district told KFOR there is at least one gender neutral bathroom in every Stillwater school.
News 4 reached out to the State Department of Education. However, we did not hear back.