Earlier this school year, a school district in Florida allowed a biological female student to access and use a middle school boys’ locker room without any notification or warning to the boys or their parents.
Now, two PE teachers appear to have lost their jobs at the school for not being willing to supervise the female student while she was dressing and showering.
According to a letter of complaint, written to Pasco County School District from Liberty Counsel (a pro-bono law firm committed to defending the constitution), the boys at Chasco Middle School were caught “(literally) with their pants down, causing them embarrassment and concern by the fact that they had been observed changing by an obvious girl.”
“Boys immediately came out of the locker room,” the letter went on, “and approached Stephanie and Robert, seeking assistance. The P.E. teachers were powerless to respond, because administrators had placed a gag order on them, and told them that they could not answer the boys on these questions.”
Furthermore, when the male PE teacher declined to “knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress,” he was told by administrators that “he will be transferred to another school as discipline for ‘not doing your job in the locker room.'”
Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast stated that a school administrator told the male PE teacher and coach in an email that his refusal to supervise a potentially naked female student “would not be tolerated.” It is also being reported that while the female PE teacher raised objections as well, she was simply ignored.
At the end of October, Liberty Counsel reported that Chasco Middle School parents had still not been notified by the school about the situation, in spite of the fact that the transgender student continues to have access to male-only areas. The district school board, which oversees approximately 70, 500 students, has refused to take action, and school administrators have also remained steadfast in their decision to punish the male teacher.
Mast is, however, not entirely surprised.
“Unfortunately these things are going on across the country,” the attorney stated, “primarily with school psychologists and guidance counselors.”
Mast went on to explain that public schools will oftentimes enact such transgender policies without first informing parents and voters. The problem, he believes, is that this results in the public finding out only after something bad has already occurred.
In the case of Pasco County School District, it appears that its transgender policies were developed after the hiring of Jackie Jackson-Dean, a school psychologist selected to be the district’s LGBT liason.
In a guide for district teachers and staff titled “Talking Points about Gender-Inclusive Schools,” if other students (or their parents) report being uncomfortable changing or showering in front of a student of the opposite sex, the teacher is to respond by saying they are unable to discuss the situation. The guide also directs teachers to offer to “help you or your child better understand gender-related issues.”
“Your child’s rights are not being violated when a transgender student accesses the facilities that correspond to their gender identity,” the script for teachers reads.
Liberty Counsel has asked that the district “1) immediately inform boys at Chasco Middle School (and their parents) about their privacy rights, vis-à-vis the girl in their locker room; 2) confirm that neither teachers nor students will be forced to use false gender pronouns to refer to other people; and 3) immediately cease all punitive action against the P.E. teachers, including any reassignment to another school.”
Since the initial incident occurred in September and legal action was threatened in October, there has been no response.