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Earlier this month, a school board in Pennsylvania voted against a policy requiring boys and girls to use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex. The 5-4 vote was denounced by parents and students alike, and the students staged walkouts in protest.
In a stunning reversal Monday, the Perkiomen Valley School Board in Montgomery County passed the policy, which applies to the use of restroom and locker room facilities in the district's four elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and lone K-12 academy by all of its 5,000 students and 760 staff.
What's the background?
Republican school board member Don Fountain cast the tie-breaking vote in LGBT activists' favor.
The measure had first been advanced after a parent discovered his daughter was afraid of using the girls' washroom, having allegedly encountered a transvestite therein.
The father, Tim Jagger, told the Delaware Valley Journal that after learning of his daughter's uneasiness, he contacted district officials, who clarified that students were allowed to use whatever bathroom corresponded with their imagined "gender identity."
According to Jagger, administrators cited a nondiscrimination policy passed in 2018 that had retroactively come to apply to gender identity.
Outrage quickly snowballed, resulting in a student revolt.
On Sept. 15, around 400 students staged a walkout from Perkiomen High School.
One student protester, 17-year-old Brandon Corner, indicated there was cause to suspect the transgender bathroom policy would endanger students, alluding to the 2021 rapes executed by a transvestite in girls' bathrooms at two different Loudoun County schools in Virginia.
Support for the proposed common-sense policy and corresponding student demonstrations poured in from farther afield.
The New York Post's editorial board stressed on Sept. 20 that "forcing teens, especially young women, to share deeply private spaces with members of the opposite sex is disrespectful and dangerous. It opens the door to tragedies like the 2021 sexual assault by a skirt-wearing male of a high school student in a girl's bathroom in Loudoun County, Va. And it lets kids know that their actual safety and privacy simply don't matter."
Victory in the valley
The board members who voted in favor of the policy were Matthew Dorr; Don Fountain; Kim Mares; Jason Saylor; and Rowan Keenan, a bearded gentleman who enraged his leftist counterparts at the meeting by joking about having been a woman over the past several months.
The district is now required to "provide access to Multi-User Facilities for students based on their sex. ... In all school buildings in this District, restrooms, locker rooms, and showers that are designated for one (1) sex shall be designated for use only by members of that sex. No person shall enter a restroom locker room, or shower that is designated for the use of the opposite sex."
Sex is defined in the policy thusly: "the biological sex classification based upon chromosomal structure and anatomy at birth."
Under the policy, single-user facilities, including those previously available only to teachers, will be opened to reality-averse students who reject their biological sex.
WFMZ-TV reported that a number of LGBT activist board members and members of the public characterized the return to normal as an attack on transvestitic students.
One activist at the Monday board meeting said, "We're asking that a person that's in a minority that has civil rights, we're asking them to give up those rights because a majority — whether that be the population or on the board — feels that their rights aren't as important as theirs. ... That is totally un-American."
At the Oct. 2 work session, Sarah Evans-Brockett's motion to approve Policy 103.2, whereby students would "use the restroom that corresponds to the gender identity they consistently assert at school," failed.
Following their defeat, the Democrat-endorsed slate of Perkiomen Valley School Board candidates said in a statement, "Trans men are men. Trans women are women. ... Acknowledgement of someone's humanity is not a threat to anyone. Acknowledgement is the bare minimum. Discrimination should not be disguised as safety. This is about segregating the others among us."
Leftist candidates have already begun campaigning on the passage of Policy 720 in hopes of taking control of the board. The election will be held on Nov. 7.
The victory in the valley is reminiscent of a May 10 decision by another Pennsylvania school board to keep boys out of girls' bathrooms. However, that decision appeared to be less contentious, as Pennridge School District board members passed the policy in a 7-1 vote, reported WPVI-TV.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.