Georgia school chief issues own guidance on transgender bathrooms. Cites privacy, safety concerns

A new sticker designates a gender neutral bathroom at Nathan Hale High School Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Seattle. President Obama’’s directive ordering schools to accommodate transgender students has now prompted a lawsuit by 11 states, but since 2012 Seattle has mandated that transgender students can use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods issued guidance today to school districts regarding the Obama administration’s “Dear Colleague Letter” on transgender students and school restrooms.

In its letter of guidance last week, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice said districts must under Title IX ensure transgender students can use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity.

The Woods letter, sent to district superintendents, came in response to a request from Gov. Nathan Deal that GaDOE “provide guidance to those local school systems seeking assistance and clarity on this issue in order to ensure that there will be as much uniformity across our state as possible.”

Here is the letter:

Dear Superintendents:

On Friday, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice issued a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” regarding the rights of transgender students in the K-12 education setting.

We at the Georgia Department of Education believe the “Dear Colleague Letter” openly violates, misinterprets and moves to rewrite established U.S. law. This overreach of power by the Executive Branch of the federal government is compounded by the threat to withhold federal funds should the context of the letter not be followed.

As this guidance does not have the force of law, you are not required to comply with this directive or make changes to your established actions and policies. However, if the federal government does decide to withhold federal funds, enforce this directive, or bring suit against any district in Georgia because of a decision a local district makes, we will work with all parties to take appropriate action.

The doctrine of “local control” is deeply rooted in our constitution and laws here in Georgia, and I am confident that you, as the superintendent of your district, along with your board of education and with counsel and support from your local board attorney, will continue to appropriately address concerns surrounding this complex and sensitive matter.

There are fundamental elements in all public schools, including a safe school environment and an appropriate response to the needs of individual students. Those two elements are essential and compatible and are the responsibility of local school systems.

My first priority is to ensure our schools are a safe environment for students. I believe there are safety and privacy concerns associated with allowing students of different genders to use the same bathroom and locker rooms. For that reason, I do not believe a student of another gender should use a restroom or locker room alongside students of the opposite sex.

In closing, I wish to thank you and the staff in your districts and schools for your excellent work and commitment to your children. Our priority in Georgia is to provide all children with the opportunity to receive a great education, and we should not allow federal politics to distract us from that priority.

Respectfully,

Richard Woods

State School Superintendent

 

Reader Comments 0

96 comments
Charlotte Manning Harrell
Charlotte Manning Harrell

If the restrooms were kept separate now, different genders wouldn't be sharing the same bathroom folks.

Roman Glenn Adams
Roman Glenn Adams

These laws are being implemented by the United Nations Agenda 21.

Timothy Evans
Timothy Evans

And then look at the triangle that's shown hummm

Timothy Evans
Timothy Evans

I don't agree with nothing gay at all,But the government agree with gay marriage, but deny this boy I tell yah, the whole world gay to me

Greg Shiver
Greg Shiver

Let the voters decide on it not the government.

Patrick Rampey
Patrick Rampey

let's throw in showers too; free woodies for everyone!

Jenn Gardner
Jenn Gardner

I find the state Superintendent's response disappointing. All states should be more informed on transgender issues instead of giving way to misguided fear.

Nicolas Gerrald
Nicolas Gerrald

Sorry lady. Some people don't want dudes that aren't Trans going into the bathrooms with their daughters. That's not being a "bigot" like you libtards like to call people. It's a safety issue.

Jenn Gardner
Jenn Gardner

So why aren't you concerned about the safety of your boys, who are freely accessible to male pedophiles in the men's room?

Debbie Murphy
Debbie Murphy

Hope the local districts listen to this and take stand against Federal Government overreach

Rex Clemones
Rex Clemones

That is so profound! Thanks for sharing.

Jessica Conroy
Jessica Conroy

It's not about liberal it's about inclusion, acceptance and human rights. Your entitlements are everyone's entitlements

Zachary Thomaston
Zachary Thomaston

Says the person who probably lives their lives based on a book written millenia ago.

Johnny Knight
Johnny Knight

Zachary Thomaston says the person that lives their life with no moral or ethical code of standards.

Zachary Thomaston
Zachary Thomaston

I hate to tell you this, Johnny Knight ,but if you need a book and peer pressure to define your morals, then they aren't really your morals. Morality has no place in government.

Bonnie Wood
Bonnie Wood

If being liberal is a "mental illness", then I guess I'm crazy as a loon!

Zachary Thomaston
Zachary Thomaston

No, there aren't. Just because you are not able to control yourself and find using the restroom to be an incredibly sexual act does not mean everyone has the same issues.

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

If there ever was a time for privacy amongst your gender where you could let loose and be your total self for that short 10 or so minutes, it'd be the bathroom.. It's all ruined now

Rex Clemones
Rex Clemones

In other words,if someone doesn't think the same as Monroe ,they are on the wrong team.That my friend is the problem.

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

\U0001f611\U0001f611\U0001f611 play stupid if you'd like, you know exactly what I mean, unless you play for the other team, in that case there's no conversation to be had

James Wells
James Wells

What community are you even talking about? And again...why do you think there are indecent acts in public bathrooms that are not already illegal?

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

?? It's the bathroom.. I wasn't making a point of excreting gas or anything.. I was saying there is a sense of privacy amongst men in the bathroom as well as the privacy of women in theirs.. That privacy has now been compromised..

James Wells
James Wells

I'm not sure I want to share a public bathroom with someone who wants to "let loose."

James Wells
James Wells

I'm not playing for any team...but please explain - a transgendered, post-op person (for example) will be using a toilet behind a locked stall door. Explain the loss of privacy for either you or that person.

James Wells
James Wells

How remarkably intelligent and predictable to see you post that...

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

\U0001f914\U0001f914taking words out of context.. What woman that's not in that community wants to relieve themselves next to a male?? This is very much forced upon us.. In this case, how would the city adding a 3rd bathroom for transgenders be discriminatory??

Glenda Bagley
Glenda Bagley

I can half way see it with adults using the same restrooms BUT it asking for trouble with kids especially when their hormones are running wild...there's boys going to take advantage of this

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

Glenda Bagley they don't understand it at all.. This forces children to deal with adult issues which damages the child in the long run.. Some things are too graphic or explicit for children period..

James Wells
James Wells

Again...someone minding their own business, in a locked bathroom stall, then washing their hands and leaving... Where is the trouble? It happens today...all over the world...without any problems.

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

\U0001f611\U0001f611\U0001f611that's a naive way to look at it.. You're acting as if this wouldn't bring problems amongst the community.. You're thinking of it in an innocent way..

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

So then what would be the issue to add a 3rd restroom??

James Wells
James Wells

None. I'll vote to approve that in my community if it'll end this stupidity. But again, you haven't explained why a private act, with someone's gender at birth unknown to you, inside a locked bathroom stall...WHY does that need to be messed with by new local and state laws? The US Congress had already codified the civil rights protections that were clarified this month, causing this fake outrage. Why are we still discussing it?

Jessica Conroy
Jessica Conroy

I'm for gender equality in the bathroom. No one owes anyone any explanations or needs to be "checked"...but be ready james because we surely cut up, get rowdy, primp and "let loose" in the restroom. Isn't it the same in every restroom? Not something You can change or dictate. NO explanations or people dictating this will happen. That being said I don't care if you come in but be ready for how we roll. Just mind your businesses and wash your hands. I don't care who comes in but they are not changing how we do

Jessica Conroy
Jessica Conroy

"Not sure I want to share a public bathroom with someone who let loose" you know that's hilarious. Chill

Glenda Bagley
Glenda Bagley

James Wells wait till someone push you so much little girl in at lock stall and rape her.... then you will see those lock stalls will not help

James Wells
James Wells

Are you actually thinking this through, Glenda Bagley ? You're saying that there are sexual predators in bathrooms, today -- without enforcement of new labs putting transgendered people in the wrong bathroom. So please - tell us why we need to reverse years of intelligent decision making about transgendered people and the bathrooms they use? If bathrooms are scary places, because of sexual predators and not transgendered people -- then how would this new law in North Carolina help anyone?

Glenda Bagley
Glenda Bagley

James Wells let me spell this out for you so you can comprehend , apparently you can't...... Yes there is dangerous in the restroom before this law was passed.... if transgenders was already using the restroom why advertise it to promote these probes into the restroom ? Someone can pretend that they are a transgender just to go into the restroom.... we are not saying transgenders molest little kids it's the weirdos that's PRETENDING to be..... this is opening the doors for them how plane is this ? Why cant you not understand that with your little brain ?

James Wells
James Wells

The law in North Carolina CHANGES the status quo. Before this law, there was NO increase in risk due to transgendered people using the bathroom. Now, because of bigoted lawmakers in NC (and soon to be in other states), this becomes an issue. All of the protections under law for transgendered people to use the bathroom, that you're complaining about -- they've been the law for YEARS in some cases. No ill effects. No one is trying to promote or advertise transgendered people in bathrooms. You completely misunderstand the issue.

Glenda Bagley
Glenda Bagley

James Wells maybe if y'all did not try to pass a law this would not have been a problem,the transgenders... you all are the ones to open the door on confusion and arguing bypassing the law

James Wells
James Wells

You need to do some basic research. The state of North Carolina passed a law PREVENTING transgendered people from using the bathroom that matches their current gender. That is the ONLY law that anyone passed recently. What law are you trying to accuse "us" of trying to pass?

Monroe Jackson
Monroe Jackson

For the record. If they added a 3rd bathroom for them it'd shut me up..

Glenda Bagley
Glenda Bagley

James Wells who was the one that passed it that was allowing it not preventing it... North Carolina + 6 more States has stood up against this

James Wells
James Wells

No one understands what you're typing, Glenda Bagley. Cities and states do have laws protecting transgendered people's rights to use the bathroom. North Carolina and other states are reversing local laws with new, stupidly-worded state laws. If you can connect to Facebook to type these random comments - then you can use Google to do five minutes of research. The US Congress already passed, before 2016, legislation that included protecting transgendered bathroom access as a civil right. States don't get to pass poorly written laws to override civil rights protections...if you don't like that, then the place to fix it is in the US Congress or federal courts.

Debra Fish
Debra Fish

Boy in dresses and makeup are still boys in dresses and makeup.

Ryan Mclean
Ryan Mclean

and clueless redneck inbreds are still clueless inbred rednecks ^^

Tommy Jones
Tommy Jones

Girls that were born with male genitalia are still girls.

Johnny Knight
Johnny Knight

Tommy Jones and you LOVE THEM and want to be one.

class80olddog
class80olddog

That is a contradiction in terms.  That is like saying a person who thinks he is a fish is not human.  A female is DEFINED as a person without a penis.  The vast majority of those who are transgender still have the XX or XY chromosome they were born with.  Gender identity is in the MIND, sex is between the legs.  And Title IX prevents discrimination based on SEX.