A Pennsylvania school district recently passed a policy requiring students to use restrooms based on their assigned gender. Perkiomen Valley School District is located in central Montgomery County. It serves the boroughs of Collegeville, Trappe, and Schwenksville, and the townships of Lower Frederick, Perkiomen, and Skippack, in Pennsylvania.The district headquarters are in Perkiomen Township.
Now, the Perkiomen Valley School Board initially struck down the sex-based policy with a 4-5 vote, but the numbers flipped in early October when a board member voted to approve the policy instead.
Parents claim that the policy affirming trans students use of appropriate bathrooms was an extension of previous 2018 policies around discrimination and safety. One adult claimed “then nobody was really informed that it actually extended out to bathrooms.”
After the school board’s initial rejection of this anti-trans policy, students organized a walk-out to “protect girls” from sharing a restroom with trans students. Reportedly 300 students took part. The district serves over 5,000 students.
Did they march out of a 1950’s teen movie?
It has been a month since this happened, but I thought it a fitting topic for election eve. A lot of school board directors will be elected tomorrow.
These policies are actively anti-trans, isolating and targeting students who just want to go to the bathroom in peace. Other districts use a neutral policy that makes some sort of Faustian bargain with the welfare of children to stay in office. And then districts like Pittsburgh Public Schools have inclusive trans-affirming policies.
Now with 500 school districts in Pennsylvania (plus charter schools, private schools, faith based schools), it is almost the luck of the draw. With the safety and welfare of our youth, especially trans youth. Just this weekend I blogged about the deaths by suicide of three transgender teenagers in Lancaster County and the death also by suicide of a teen trans girl in Luzerne County. That’s less than two hours either direction from Perkiomen.
The delusion that a non-discrimination and safety policies would not extend to bathrooms is mind-boggling stupid. How anyone could be caught off guard by that decision suggests that the concepts of non-discrimination have not stuck the landing among 300 students and their parents. It is staggering really. And terrifying.
We must pay attention. Hopefully, LGBTQ resources in Montgomery County are working with the Teachers Union to educate the community and educational leaders to reverse this vicious and cruel policy. And we will all be voting tomorrow to keep LGBTQ affirming directors to the school board in our community.
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