Loudoun Schools Assess Transgender Policy After Federal Memo

Loudoun County Public Schools are giving their policies on transgender students a second look after a memo issued today by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education outlining the federal government’s stance on treatment of those students.

The memo requires that when a student’s parent or guardian notifies school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school system will begin treating the student according to that student’s gender identity. It also specifies that there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement—in other words, no doctor’s note is required.

[Read the memo here.]

“Loudoun County Public Schools consistent practice on this matter is to have the building administrator work out accommodations with students and their families that respect everyone in the school community,” stated LCPS Public Information Officer Wayde Byard. “We are assessing the federal government’s stance on this issue and will give it due consideration as we move forward.”

The school system’s $16.7 million in federal funding is at stake. Under Title IX, the school system’s federal funding is contingent with the federal nondiscrimination policy, which now includes these guidelines on treatment of transgender students.

“Theoretically, yes, there are things on the line, but all that is really early to be saying what ramifications are going to come out of this, so that’s yet to be seen,” Byard said. He also said it would be up to the school board to determine whether this memo will require the school system to create a system-wide policy for transgender students.

The memo includes definitions for terminology relating to transgender people, a sign of how new the idea is to many school systems. In the memo, “gender identity” is defined as a person’s internal sense of gender, which may be different from the person’s sex assigned at birth. “Sex assigned at birth” is the sex designation recorded on a birth certificate, and “transgender” means a person whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth.

In particular the memo specifies that transgender students will be allowed to use the restroom and locker room consistent with their gender identity.

The federal memo is accompanied by a document containing guidance and example policies from school systems that have adopted rules for how they treat transgender students.

[Read that document here.]

The accompanying document from the U.S. Department of Education includes guidance on everything from confirming a student’s gender identity—they tell you—to how schools are addressing bullying and harassment of transgender students.

[email protected]

38 thoughts on “Loudoun Schools Assess Transgender Policy After Federal Memo

  • 2016-05-13 at 5:48 pm

    I’d rather see a tax increase to make up the $16M and tell the federal government to pound sand than to see this vile directive implemented.

    Are we really going to force girls to shower with boys who claim they are girls?

  • 2016-05-13 at 7:11 pm

    Dave – agree 100% as Obama is ramming this down our throats (the government and all citizens) then extorting the States to except it or be denied funding. Realizing that the overwhelming majority of all people want to be sensitive to transgender kids, and not alienate them, Obama is not content with individual bathrooms for the extremely limited amount of transgender community, yet he wants to mix the kids together, which is laughable. Obviously this is no different that the Target Store liberal issue, which we’ve banned until the end of time regardless if they reverse their decision. Kids born as boys will mix with girls on their way to becoming men and women. We have enough safety issues with our children as-is, and I can assure you this, Obama and the elitist, certainly won’t be allowing their children to associate, tinkle and shower with transgender kids as they have no mixed-used facilities as their private schools are equiped with only the finer things that life can offer and he can only doll out restrictions to us mere folks versus walking the line himself. Why not start to open the White House like back in the day and let the transgender community bathe and use the facilities before, during and with him as a test to see how well it go before using it off on the minions first. We’ve been on the bubble as many folks in our community are home-schooled and others are going to private schools, but we’ve felt the best approach was public a public education. It seems Wayde and his posse are going to hear an earful on this one. I was watching MSNBC fir quite a while earlier, and I believe it was Tamron Hall, was interviewing a Principal who already went through an identical situation. They were all painting a Rosey picture of the situation and Tamron didn’t ask the 20 hard questions that I would have simple because they wanted to reinforce Obama’s rule of terror. Tamron is a joke and added harder questions after her friend, Prince, died. I was listening to the Fox News XM Channel earlier this afternoon and it confirmed that not all residents, and actually most of the residents, in the school district were quite upset with the decisions. Tamron wouldn’t even ask the simple question….. Was it a Boy (actual an almost ADULT MAN) gaining access to the girls (actual almost WOMEN’S) room. What a shame as they wouldn’t even talk about the most simplistic question…….

  • 2016-05-14 at 12:16 pm

    Since when is “do unto others as you would have then do unto you” become vile, my very good friend, David? The one point that can be made here, is that with a Federal directive, should come the funding to pay for it. That I will agree with. But we all should never lose sight of the goal of treating people with respect.

    • 2016-05-16 at 8:57 am

      I think you’re right. Fortunately, none of the demonstrated best practices in the guidance document are associated with much of an expense. The number one expense was probably paying consultants to develop the policies and practices in the first place; the second would be the provision of private changing areas, available to any student who prefers them for any reason. That can easily be done on the cheap if it hasn’t already happened. My sense is that most if not all teenagers would prefer that to the traditional locker rooms many of us grew up with, so that’s the direction we should be going for many reasons. Target is getting it right with their approach that includes a single use option, because “family” or gender-neutral restrooms benefit everyone. They overwhelmingly benefit cis people, if only because there are so many more cis people.

  • 2016-05-14 at 2:26 pm

    Monetary extortion… with our very own tax money. You nailed it precisely Leesburgsfinest. Loudoun sends far more than 17 million bucks to the swamp down the river. We were sold the latest tax hike as “only 12 dollars a month” for the schools. Coming up with the 17 million DC is stealing from all of us, should be measured in pennies. I’ll open my check book. And then I want to see the county sue to get our money back from the Washington thugs. I’m with Mr. D; tell them to step off and we’ll see you in court.

    How odd that the self-proclaimed ‘party of science’ has suddenly cast all science aside in order to force “feelings” on the rest of us. Do all of our local politicians support allowing high school senior boys showering with 14, 15, and 16 year old girls anytime they “feel” like it? I want to hear all of them on the record on this issue.

    Has anyone asked Muslim moms and dads in Loudoun if they’re cool with their daughters sharing a locker room with members of the baseball/football/basketball team? How about our Hindu neighbors – are they fine with letting their freshman daughters share a shower room with senior boys? How about our Catholic and Baptist neighbors? Did anyone, anywhere, ask any Loudoun parent if this is acceptable? Nope.

    The schools have enough on their plate to deal with and now faceless, agenda driven, bureaucrats are threatening our schools with our own money and with law suits? How precisely does this further any kid’s education?
    I knew Obama hated the Clintons, but wow! Mrs. Clinton is going to have to defend this extreme action to parents across the nation.

    This is all part of the plan to divide and distract the people away from real issues. It’s going to get worse. Don’t fall for it folks.

  • 2016-05-15 at 9:19 am

    Most people reading this are probably unaware of the developments in medical science that are the basis for this memo and for the shift in civil rights law that makes it necessary. A summary description can be found in the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice on Monday; it reflects the medical consensus that gender identity itself has a biological basis, is one of the several components of biological sex, and is in fact the determinative component of biological sex, hence “[a] transgender man’s sex is male and a transgender woman’s sex is female.” I think the problem is that this understanding, reached on the basis of many decades of clinical experience and research in a variety of medical disciplines, simply hasn’t been transmitted to the general public. This all seems brand new to most people, as if it came out of nowhere, but that’s simply not the case. Here is the relevant section:

    Gender Identity and Its Relationship to Sex

    30. Individuals are typically assigned a sex on their birth certificate solely on the basis of the appearance of the external genitalia at birth. Additional aspects of sex (for example, chromosomal makeup) typically are not assessed and considered at the time of birth, except in cases of infants born with ambiguous genitalia.

    31. An individual’s “sex” consists of multiple factors, which may not always be in alignment. Among those factors are hormones, external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, chromosomes, and gender identity, which is an individual’s internal sense of being male or female.

    32. For individuals who have aspects of their sex that are not in alignment, the person’s gender identity is the primary factor in terms of establishing that person’s sex. External genitalia are, therefore, but one component of sex and not always determinative of a person’s sex.

    33. Although there is not yet one definitive explanation for what determines gender identity, biological factors, most notably sexual differentiation in the brain, have a role in gender identity development.

    34. Transgender individuals are individuals who have a gender identity that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. A transgender man’s sex is male and a transgender woman’s sex is female.

    35. A transgender individual may begin to assert a gender identity inconsistent with their sex assigned at birth at any time from early childhood through adulthood. The decision by transgender individuals to assert their gender identity publicly is a deeply personal one that is made by the individual, often in consultation with family, medical and health care providers, and others.

    36. Gender identity is innate and external efforts to change a person’s gender identity can be harmful to a person’s health and well-being.

    37. Gender identity and transgender status are inextricably linked to one’s sex and are sex-related characteristics.

    38. Most states authorize changing the sex marker on one’s birth certificate, but the requirements for doing so vary and are often onerous. Specifically, many states require surgical procedures. At least one state does not allow persons to change the sex marker on their birth certificates.

    39. Individuals born in North Carolina must have proof of certain surgeries, such as “sex reassignment surgery,” in order to change the sex marker on their birth certificates. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-118(b)(4).

    40. Surgery related to gender transitioning is generally unavailable to children under age 18.

    41. In addition, the great majority of transgender individuals do not have surgery as part of their gender transition. Determinations about such surgery are decisions about medical care made by physicians and patients on an individual basis. For some, health-related conditions or other medical criteria counsel against invasive surgery. For others, the high cost of surgical procedures, which are often excluded from health insurance coverage, present an insurmountable barrier.

    42. Standards of medical care for surgery related to gender transitioning generally advise that transgender individuals present consistent with their gender identity on a day-to-day basis across all settings of life, including in bathrooms and changing facilities at school and at work, for a significant time period prior to undergoing surgery.

    Source: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2827915/NC-DOJComplaint.pdf

  • 2016-05-15 at 10:16 am

    I feel really bad for the newly-awakened anti-transgender activists. You guys were formerly focused on anti-gay activism, but when the world didn’t end with the recognition of same-sex marriage, you sought out a new target to bear your grievances and feel your rage.

    I have some advice for you. If you are unhappy that our modern-day government refuses to police your neighbors sex to your satisfaction, there are countries where the government does do that. You can move to Iran, or Saudi Arabia, for example. The list is a long one, unfortunately.

  • 2016-05-15 at 8:56 pm

    David, that is garbage science. Men are men and women are women. It isn’t that complicated, unless you are an agenda-pushing liberal and need to contemplate what the definition of “is” is.

    People who think they are “transgender” are mentally ill and they need serious psychological help. The true evil here are the liberal pushers who empower these poor lost souls and encourage them to mutilate their own bodies and perpetuate their mental illness.

    About the only positive thing that will come from Obama’s most recent act of stupidity is that he just coronated President Trump. Working class whites were leaving Clinton in droves and moving to Trump already. Forcing their daughters to shower with men will only accelerate the Democrat’s demise.

    • 2016-05-16 at 8:30 am

      David, the evidence says otherwise. Can you provide the titles of even three peer-reviewed studies of the biology of gender identity that you’ve read, and explain why you believe them to be “garbage science”? This is the accepted science, comprising many decades of research in multiple disciplines. Having a gender identity that doesn’t align with other biological components of sex is no longer considered to be a mental disorder. It’s a medical condition like other intersex conditions, which actually can be somewhat complicated. When new information is discovered, conclusions change. That’s how science works, and science informs law.

      I can tell that you just don’t have any real world experience with this. The only way that men would be “forced” to shower with women is if what you seem to propose could be enforced: That trans men be required to share facilities with women. That’s definitely not what you, or certainly any women, would want. If you don’t understand why, google images of trans men. Base your opinions on reason and evidence.

      • 2016-05-18 at 2:37 am

        The anti-trans folk are the same ones who don’t believe in climate change. Not sure the science argument is going to make a difference here.

  • 2016-05-16 at 9:14 am

    No examples of a transgender person attacking someone in the bathroom exist. None.

    What really is true is that transgender people ARE under medical care. They are the most assaulted, most murdered, have the highest unemployment rate, and attempted suicide rate of any identifiable group in the World. In Brazil, where transgender people are despised, approximately 60 were murdered in January alone. It’s widely believed that these murders are done by police.

    If you have a group or church that would like to meet and discuss transgender issues, please contact:
    EV has a small corps of transgender speakers available for discussions and presentations.

    Just put down the torch and pitchfork and take a few minutes to learn. To learn about – us.

    • 2016-05-16 at 8:49 pm

      Connie – with all due respect, you and Susan seem to be pretty ignorant on the law. Do you think that the courts, papers, etc. are going around releasing information of transgender and other type information as it pertains to juveniles!?!? It is never impossible to get accurate rape, assault and other information for major Universities and you are talking about transgender aggressions….. Pretty funny…. One last thought… Shae Agee (see Facebook, there are a few but you should quickly figure which one) for two decades watched a girlfriend of mine undress in front of her before she confessed to love her, which happened to be the same night that I met my girlfriend. She wasn’t a transgender, but was a closet lesbian masquerading as a heterosexual even claiming to have a boyfriend. My girlfriend felt raped. I can imagine forcing little teenage girls to undress in front of another “girl” with a penis may be the same feeling as my girlfriend.

      • 2016-05-17 at 10:48 am

        There are transgender organizations monitoring reported crimes against transgender people and surveys of our community. Are statistics perfect? No. But I’m NOT ignorant of the law. No cases of a transgender person attacking someone in the bathroom exist. NONE. On one hand, the right says this is about men pretending to be women. But then it turns out that’s how they define all male-to-female transgender women.

        In the five years it took me to transition: I was under doctors care and on hormones for two years. Then I changed my name and had extensive surgery from the chest up. That’s when I went “full time.” You must live “full time” for a year before most reputable doctors will do gender reassignment surgery.

        During the next year I underwent two additional surgeries. Finally, after 13 months “full time” I had gender reassignment surgery. Later, my home state changed my birth certificate. Three states will not do this (Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee. Kansas is trying to do this also). Transgender people born in those states can NEVER have proper paperwork despite surgery. I am female in mind, body, AND legal documentation.

        I’ve lost friends to suicide. Been assaulted. had friends be assaulted. And I’ve seen friends lose their jobs and never work again. You think this is easy? Just something we decide to do one day? We know how hard it will be. We know the likelihood that our lives will be destroyed. We know that we can lose our jobs, our families, our safety. So you think I don’t know the law? Really? Really? I say that you are soooo ignorant of the realities of being transgender.

        Put down the torch and pitchfork and learn.

    • 2016-05-19 at 5:14 pm

      My concern is not at all about whether a transgender person will attack someone in the bathroom. I agree that they just want to use the bathroom and leave. My concern is locker rooms. When my 12 year old son is in the locker room changing, there should not be breasts for him to see. When my middle school girl is in the locker room, she should not be changing next to someone with a penis. I do not believe she should be seeing naked boys at that age. Period. How do we address that?

  • 2016-05-16 at 9:51 am

    Complete poppycock, Johnathan –and you know it. I have always stood for the freedom of being left alone by the state. I’ve maintained for decades the state has no role whatsoever in dictating who anyone can marry, or even require a “permit” to get married in the first place. It’s none of theirs, or anyone else’s business what consenting adults choose. None.

    But this isn’t about consenting adults. This is about, elementary, middle and high school kids. This is about a fringe agenda being “decreed,” and then forced upon families without their consent. Worse, they’re being extorted to accept it with their very own tax money. The irony of you, suddenly, supporting government mandates on your neighbor’s sexual beliefs is not lost. And here, I’d thought we crossed that river and moved on, and rightfully so.

    Jonathan, are you in support of letting senior boys enter the locker rooms of 14/15 year old freshmen girls? How about some 30 year old man strolling into the elementary school girl’s bath room, and setting up camp in the stall next to my 7 year old daughter? I don’t believe you really think that, or that government should making decisions best left to parents.

    If parents acquiesce to this extreme mandate, it will be abused. And maybe that’s a good thing. Saul Alinsky’s Rule #4. “Make them live up to their own rules.”

    Again, as if our schools, kids, and parents don’t have enough to deal with, and now they have this hanging over their heads. It’s meant to cause confusion and be divisive. It’s intended to turn parents against school administrators and local elected school boards. It’s meant to distract away from all of the other real issues our country and county face.

    We need a follow up story on this: Where do our elected public servants stand on this “decree.” We all have a right to know.

    • 2016-05-16 at 10:41 am

      Chris, while I can’t speak for Jonathan it seems clear to me that he is specifically addressing those who opposed marriage equality. If that doesn’t include you, then he wasn’t addressing you.

      Beyond that, what you’ve offered here are multiple straw men. It’s not even possible to mandate someone’s “sexual beliefs,” whatever that means. This guidance is meant to ensure the privacy and civil rights of ALL children and adolescents in our schools, not just the majority. It is a tested and evidence-based approach that has already been in use for years in many school districts with zero problems. Your statements amount to wild speculation with no basis in fact whatsoever.

  • 2016-05-16 at 1:06 pm

    [email protected] community says “stay out of our bedrooms!”

    But they come barging into everyone else’s bathrooms and locker rooms.


    • 2016-05-17 at 11:55 am

      David, you don’t even know that this has nothing to do with sexual orientation or sexual relationships, do you?

  • 2016-05-16 at 4:16 pm

    From Glenn Beck today. This is the creepy stuff that people are concerned about and the LBGT community doesn’t care about.

    ““So yesterday, Bailey, who is our makeup artist, we’re sitting in the makeup chair, and you know how us gals get when we’re sitting in the makeup chair. We just gab. So she said a friend of hers went into a Target, and there was this creepy guy who was just leaning up against the wall in the bathroom,” Glenn said. When the young woman looked at him as if to question, “What are you doing here?” he said, “I have every right to be here, and you can’t do anything about it.” She immediately left and reported the incident to Target management. Their response? “I’m sorry. We can’t do anything about that.” Target refused to remove the creepy guy — not transgender, not dressed as a woman, not using the restroom — from the women’s facilities. “This is their own policy,” Glenn said. “This is not the government forcing you to do this. This is Target saying, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t do anything about it because it will make him uncomfortable.’” This incident is exactly why more than 1,200,000 have made the pledge to stop shopping at Target. “It’s why my wife won’t shop there anymore,” Pat said. “My wife won’t either,” Glenn added. If they won’t listen to reason, maybe they’ll listen to the bottom line.”

    Target has lost over $2B in market cap since their share price has dropped since their “bathrooms for all” announcement.

    • 2016-05-17 at 10:36 am

      Good thing there was a location and date here to verify. Meanwhile, this actually sounds like something a right wing activist would do, doesn’t it? That’s been the case in the past. Creating a problem to hurt others.

    • 2016-05-17 at 11:54 am

      Yes, anti-trans groups have openly announced that they are sending men into women’s room to prove a point. It’s like the time that Dick Black was on the library board and pulled up pornography on a computer to “prove” that people looking at porn at the library was a problem. Librarians reported that it was the only time they had ever had to order a patron to close their browser. Also, recall how that debacle turned out for Loudoun County.

  • 2016-05-16 at 5:16 pm

    All of Loudoun County’s students deserve to be safe and respected at school. Our transgender children are members of our community. They contribute. They show compassion. They do not choose to be transgender. Loudoun’s students who are cis-gender (those whose sex assigned at birth corresponds with their gender identity) need to learn how to be members of a community that celebrates diversity. We should be focused on expanding our love and compassion for one another. Many of Loudoun’s schools have a mission statement that includes something like, “I will be responsible, respectful, and ready to learn.” We must hold true to these basic standards of human decency. Let’s fulfill this goal, modeling love for others rather than hatred.

  • 2016-05-16 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you David for clearing that up. I don’t think Jonathan meant it either.
    I agree with you; it is impossible to mandate sexual beliefs. Yet that is precisely what this decree (when did we elect a king?) intends to do. And they’re going to hold on to our tax money to coerce the people into going along with it, and suggesting disciplinary measures against students who are uncomfortable having their privacy and civil rights impinged. What about the privacy rights of elementary, middle, and high school kids? Are their privacy rights less important, and therefore null and void? Parental rights are sacrificed? Those issues aren’t strawmen.
    There already is a system in the schools to address this issue. Yet this decree takes it to way new level and discards one of the most basic levels of science there is: X’s and Y’s.

    Kids don’t deserve this. Our schools don’t deserve this, and parents don’t deserve this. It’s hard enough for kids and parents to negotiate this subject in a parent/child relationship these days without having some intimidating “decree” handed down from the high priests of the temple government to confuse matters even more.

    You are a reasonable person. You don’t like mandates, decrees, coercion, or intimidation and theft any more than anyone else does. We agree on that I’m sure.

    • 2016-05-17 at 11:48 am

      Chris, civil rights law inherently is a mandate; some people wish to discriminate against some group they dislike or don’t understand, and our laws restrict that behavior. It’s part of the social contract. ALL of our kids deserve to be loved and respected, hence this guidance for schools about how to accomplish that.

      As for your remarks about science, that is exactly what the guidance and the law driving it is based on. Our understanding of the biology of sex hasn’t stood still since the discovery of so-called “sex chromosomes.” The evidence shows, and medical consensus is, that gender identity has a biological basis, and that when two or more aspects of biological sex don’t align it is gender identity (basically brain anatomy that varies along a spectrum from male to female) that is determinative of that person’s sex.

      I *am* a reasonable person, and I can sympathize that this is confusing and/or surprising to people who never learned much about biological sex after learning about XX and XY in biology class – which is most people. But I think you are also a reasonable person and should be able to integrate information that is new to you in the formation of your viewpoints. The science is available, and is contained in the briefs filed in the dozens of lawsuits that have been resolved in favor of understanding that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is discrimination on the basis of sex. You also have someone who has been through the transition process on this very thread, explaining it. This is an education issue and there are plenty of knowledgeable people available to help.

  • 2016-05-17 at 5:42 pm

    The American College of Pediatricians (I already know the Weintraubs will attack them as a conservative organization, so please don’t bother) clearly lays out the case of why this is bad.


    The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality.

    1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder.
    2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.
    3. A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.
    4. Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous.
    5. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.
    6. Children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence. Cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.
    7. Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ – affirming countries.
    8. Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.

    -Michelle A. Cretella, M.D., President of the American College of Pediatricians
    -Quentin Van Meter, M.D., Vice President of the American College of Pediatricians, Pediatric Endocrinologist
    -Paul McHugh, M.D., University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital

    • 2016-05-18 at 2:54 am

      I mean, the American College of Pediatricians was literally created to oppose the LGBTQ community.

  • 2016-05-17 at 5:56 pm

    The day I quit learning new things is the day I quit it all. I’ll look into what you’re saying. However, there needs to be a two way street. Are the rights of everyone else negated over the rights of a few? I don’t think you believe that.

    The real rub is the extortion, coercion, and forced application of one individual’s beliefs, being shoved down the throats of The People at large. That’s completely wrong. Using the power of government to intimidate The People is wrong. Not one single parent in Loudoun was consulted. The privacy rights of the overwhelming majority of Loudoun school kids was deemed irrelevant; based not on the will on the people of Loudoun, or even the Commonwealth.

    This issue should be decided by the people of Loudoun; not by some whimsical imperial dictate.

    • 2016-05-18 at 9:44 am

      Chris, thank you for your kind words. I agree that we as a community need to be able to have a mutually respectful and compassionate conversation about this, and that means not dismissing anyone’s concerns about privacy. If you read the actual guidance – and there are two documents, one from the DOJ explaining the state of the law with regard to how “sex” is understood, and one from the DOE explaining what schools have done to successfully protect the privacy of all students, I think a lot of what you’re worried about would be dispelled. No one is suggesting forcing anyone to shower together, or disrobe in front of anyone. The focus is on making sure that every student has the option of the level of privacy that they want. IMO, that should always have been the case; adolescence is awkward enough without the traditional locker room crucible.

      It’s also important that this guidance was issued in response to a request from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The fact is that families approaching schools with a trans child are not that uncommon (statistically we can expect 3 out of every 1000 students), and education professionals across the country have been seeking information. I think it’s rather a mischaracterization to call it a directive, or coercion. It’s not binding. It’s true that if a student’s civil rights are violated, the school can be sued. That obviously was true prior to the guidance, however. The guidance only clarifies what the law already requires and offers information in response to a request for it.

      What doesn’t help in such a compassionate conversation is misinformation, such as what my friend David has posted below. My issue with the ACP is not that it is a conservative organization but that it is a 200 member fringe organization, founded in 2002 and intended to be confused with the 60,000 member American Academy of Pediatrics. The ACP is a political organization, not a professional medical association, and every single statement in the post below is false or misleading.

  • 2016-05-17 at 6:25 pm

    David, I neglected to tell you in my last post – Thank you for engaging in this (We’re gettin’ the band back together!) You’re an excellent debater. Reasonable discourse requires conflicting ideas and the challenge of precepts. You bring a lot to the table.

  • 2016-05-18 at 12:09 pm

    For how many years have we heard the Weintraubs’ say “nothing to see here, just move along” and then keep pushing perversity? Here we have one more instance of the severity of the situation being completely downplayed.

    Really, David, 1 in 333 kids is transgender? Statistically, that means we’d have over 1,000,000 transgender people in the USA. That isn’t even close to being accurate even if you took that lie and stretched it around the world 3 times. Just as the gay community used to vastly overstate the number of homosexuals to make the fringe seem universal, now we have these vast overstatements of the transgender population.

    This fey ilk continues to push irreparable harm on children and adults. Nobody should be encouraged to pursue transgenderism. Period.

    This butchering reminds me of the eugenics movement of early 20th century “progressive” America. Progressives thought it was a great idea–and had the “scientific” community to back them up–to slice and dice people.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • 2016-05-18 at 6:35 pm

      700,000 transgender people in the US, or .03% of the population, is the widely accepted estimate. That’s easy enough to look up.

      Your name-calling is unbecoming.

  • 2016-05-18 at 1:29 pm

    David W. I have indeed read the “Dear Colleague” memo. It’s simple enough: a student, not their parents, may decide at any point to inform the front office that they are now someone else, and are able to flip back and forth, or create new personas whenever they wish.

    For example: The girls JV volleyball team practices and showers on Tuesday. On Tuesdays, I will no longer be Chris, I will be Kristin, and hello girl’s locker room. (pg.4 para.4) On Wednesday morning, I will be Chris again. That’s not only deemed acceptable, I have DOJ just waiting to kick down the schools door to make it so. School staff, as if they don’t have enough to deal with, will have to acquiesce to my wanderings. That is what it says. (pg.2 para. 2)

    The JV girls Volleyball team… tough cookies for them, because according to the memo, their privacy rights are null and void. It’s not about them, it’s all about me. That is what it says. (pg.2 Para.3)

    Did anyone consult the girl’s team members? How about their parents? How about anybody in Loudoun County? Nope… Again, it’s not about anyone else. It’s all about me. If anyone says anything — they’re labeled anything handy… perhaps ‘bigots’ will do, and they will be intimidated to shut up. They’re always wrong, and I’m always right. That is what it says. (pg.3 para.1)

    Extortion? Coercion? Intimidation by lawsuit? All of the above, with Loudoun County parents, who pay for the school system, directly in the crosshairs. Accept this, or we’ll sue you and keep your tax dollars to do it with. That is what says. (pg.2 para. 1)

    As you correctly point out, nobody gets anywhere with their cause if they’re holding a gun to the other persons head. Sure, you may get some immediate compliance, but you’ve created an enemy for life and your cause will always be undermined at every opportunity. Education and public debate go a heck of lot farther than a punch in the nose. This issue is one that should be decided at the state and local level.

    This is all a distraction to keep people at each other throats, instead of noticing the 20 T T T Trillion Dollar debt (Thanks kids! We’ve had a blast, now here’s the check), a stagnant economy, a failing infrastructure which we’ve been bilked over and over for and told is being fixed, but never is. A middle class that’s vanishing before our eyes. A return of the Cold War. A porous border where there are no controls, to say nothing of the nuclear proliferation and Islamic terrorism spreading throughout the globe… Nope. None of that is important. We’re arguing about which bathroom to use.
    I encourage all parents and citizens to demand from each elected official what their position is on this issue. They work for us and they better have a coherent answer.

    • 2016-05-18 at 6:32 pm

      There’s a lot of speculation in your comment that isn’t substantiated by the documents or by experience. Your imaginary example – of a person claiming to be female one day and back to male the next – isn’t how this works. You just made it up. For example, under the heading “How do schools confirm a student’s gender identity” the guidance says that “evidence may include an expressed desire to be consistently recognized by their gender identity.” That’s a key attribute of a person who was assigned the wrong gender at birth; their identity is consistent. Your example simply does not happen. Teenage boys don’t pretend to be transgender girls, and nowhere do the documents suggest that no evidence of a consistent identity is or should be required.

      Speaking of experience, you need to remember that these best practices are already in use, in some cases for years, in multiple school districts that comprise over 600,000 students, and no problems have arisen – none. No one’s privacy has been violated, no one has been harmed. If what you suggest was actually feasible it would have happened. The fact that these practices have been demonstrated to be effective in respecting the rights and privacy of ALL students is what makes them best practices.

      If you truly believe that these decisions should be made at the local level, I assume that you support the repeal of HB 2 since it denies localities like Charlotte the freedom to do just that. But civil rights are not treated that way any more. We have determined that a patchwork of different laws in different states doesn’t serve the United States very well when it comes to the fundamental right of each person to participate in public life, which is why there are now federal civil rights laws that apply consistently everywhere. Are you suggesting repealing Title VII and Title IX and allowing localities to decide their own civil rights provisions?

  • 2016-05-19 at 11:49 am

    Note to editor. Why are these posts not listing chronologically?

  • 2016-05-19 at 8:34 pm

    David W. You’re right. My scenario is hypothetical, yet I’m simply taking it straight out of the “Dear Colleague” memo, which easily provides for everything I suggested. I even agree with you that my scenario, with one modifier, is not how it’s supposed to work. You and I are old enough and experienced enough to recognize there are literally mountains of laws, regulations, and assorted decrees in place, that work completely the opposite of which they were intended.

    There is nothing in this decree that says I couldn’t do as I described. My reading of it suggests I could do anything I want, and no school official, politician, parent, or other student could stop me.

    You’re correct. In the “Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students.” Memo, it does say “evidence may include an expressed desire to be consistently recognized by their gender identity.” Yet the complete sentence states: “There is no medical or mental health diagnosis or treatment threshold that students must meet in order to have their gender identity recognized and respected” and that evidence may include an expressed desire to be consistently recognized by their gender identity.” This is guidance from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
    That is carte blanche.

    Again, you’re absolutely right. Some of these practices have been in use for years. We already have one here in Loudoun. So why the raw extortion of withholding Loudoun’s parents tax dollars? What changed? Nothing. That’s why this is nothing but a diversion, with a finger in the chest to boot. Yet another way to pit citizens against citizens, all the while DC continues to gobble up more and more of our individual liberties and state authority.

    You can’t be sure there’s never been a problem, nor that it’s never happened before. Politicians lie to us every single day. You think they’re going to admit it to parents? Some school districts give out the morning after pill and provide birth control to students without parental consent, so what would compel them to suddenly start blabbing about kids bending these rules?

    Thank you for bringing the Civil Rights Act up. How strange that a measure to overcome democrat resistance to racial equality, is now used as a bludgeon to suppress the freedom of speech and equality of others. Another, it wasn’t supposed to work this way. Where does it stop? Could I identify as a giraffe? A Blue whale? What about as someone not even from this planet? Is there any limit that can’t be breached? I’m not being factious; it’s a valid question.

    Kids need to learn math, science, reading, IT, geography, history, and engineering — not be used as pawns by the balled fist of a government that loathes a significant portion of the citizens it’s supposed to serve. We already have a system to address this; so why the threats? My apologies for the length. I’ll try to be more succinct.

  • 2016-05-20 at 3:42 pm


    Again, remember that this guidance is responding to a specific request for information from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. This is not a “directive” initiated by these agencies, it’s a requested answer to questions. To answer your question, nothing has changed. Schools have implemented and are continuing to implement exactly what the DOE is recommending in districts all across the country without violating anyone’s rights. That’s just what the real-life practice has demonstrated; it’s empirical.

    I don’t know what you believe the DOE and DOJ were supposed to do in response to these questions – lie about the outcome of lawsuits? The way the law has developed over time means that discrimination on the basis of sex-based considerations, such as gender stereotypical behavior or incongruence between biological components of sex, is discrimination “on the basis of sex” and therefore violates federal civil rights law. I can explain why that is if you want, but the point is that lawsuits are more and more likely to happen if a student’s rights are violated, and the school district is very likely to lose them. Call that “intimidation” if you like, but that seems pretty disingenuous to me. It’s actually just (again, requested!) clarification of the law. It isn’t binding, but the objective reality is that a family with cause could decide to sue at any time, and there’s no good reason to be vulnerable to that because providing privacy and respect to all students, as the law requires, harms no one.

  • 2016-05-25 at 9:34 am

    David W.
    I apologize for the delay. If nothing has changed, then why the intimidation of withholding our tax money and threats of lawsuits? If none of it is binding, then why bully people? When did congress expand the Civil Rights Act? Did I miss that debate on the floor?

    As you well know, you don’t make friends by starting off with threats.

    Great debate David.

    When will LN start asking elected officials where they stand on this issue?

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