Lakota mulls limits on transgender bathroom use, sports participation

More than a dozen people spoke out against the proposal, saying it ostracizes those students that need compassion the most.
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 9:47 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Lakota Local Schools Board of Education Darbi Boddy introduced a proposal Monday that would ban transgender students from using the bathroom that aligns with the gender with which they identify.

The proposal would also ban transgender girls from participating in organized competitive girls sports.

“There are thousands of people in the community that support this motion and who I am representing and who stand behind me as I try to protect our daughters from biological males entering the bathroom,” Boddy said.

Lakota, with 16,415 students, is the ninth largest school district in the state and the second largest in Greater Cincinnati.

Around 14 people rose to counter Boddy’s claims and speak out against the proposal.

“We are not willy nilly letting boys run into girls bathrooms, and I don’t know why you continue to think that,” another board member said. “Is a 16-year-old boy going to fake being transgender just to run into the girls bathroom? I would think not.”

Boddy acknowledged transgender students do have the opportunity to use a private bathroom.

“Those are students that do not actively have the loudest voice,” a speaker said, “and someone else needs to speak out for them. This policy they are trying to introduce is dangerous towards them and their safety.”

Another speaker said the policy fails to show compassion and understanding. “We are trying to ostracize and segregate people,” the speaker said.

Boddy countered: “You cannot change the inside of a male just by taking a puberty blocker. It’s not fair to our girls. They’re losing scholarships to males.”

Lakota’s school board sent Boddy’s proposal to the policy committe.

The issue of trans student rights has given rise to a patchwork of state laws and legal challenges in the run-up to anticipated federal action.

Ohio House Bill 6, introduced last month, would bar trans athletes from participating in women’s sports in college and youth athletics. It remains in committee.

A similar bill is in effect in Kentucky after the General Assembly overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto, but the Kentucky Department of Education’s new guidance shows enforcement will be anything but straightforward.

Meanwhile, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has ruled trans girls can join girls sports teams if they have completed a minimum of one year of hormone treatment.

The Biden Administration has attempted to shoehorn in protections for LGBTQ students into federal regulations, but those attempts have been met with widespread judicial pushback. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was among 19 state attorneys general who sued the USDA over the issue. A federal judge granted a temporary stay against the USDA regulation last July.

The Department of Education released a new Title IX rule proposal earlier this month with increased but qualified protections for LGBTQ students. Anticipating the new rule, the Ohio State Board of Education last year passed a resolution expressing opposition to expanded Title IX protections.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to let West Virginia enforce a law banning trans athletes from participating on women’s sports teams. Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all appointees of former President Donald Trump, sided with the majority.

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