Eastern Lancaster County School District holding public meetings to discuss transgender student bathroom use

NEW HOLLAND, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. —  Eastern Lancaster County School District will be holding a public meeting tonight in New Holland after receiving pushback for allowing a transgender student to use the boys bathroom.

Garden Spot High School in New Holland is at the center of the debate. 

This comes after administrators at the school gave a transgender student who identifies as male to use the men’s bathroom for the last few months.

Some people in the community say they don’t believe it should be allowed.

“You are entitled to be private in a bathroom and you are supposed to feel secure in a bathroom,” said Susan Monroe, parent. “I’m a female, I obviously wouldn’t want a man coming into the bathroom and going to the bathroom whether they [identify] with my gender or not, I don’t hate them, I want to love on them, I believe in God,” she added.

Superintendent, Dr. Rob Hollister, says along with taking community input into account, a committee of four board members will be working on coming up with a solution.

“We are trying to mold that into some type of plan that we can execute going forward, that would look at accomplishing the goal of providing privacy to all kids,” said Hollister.

He says it’s hard to say what that will look like right now, however some of the plans may include a remodeling of lockers and bathrooms. 

A spokesperson with Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Commission says the district is taking all the right steps.

“Bringing everyone together and having those conversations and coming to a level of comfort for the majority, is what we do in America, it’s what we do,” said Renee Martin, spokesperson PHRC.

Recently, the school district added private stalls in its boys locker room for those uncomfortable changing in the same area.

“Companies all over the world are now having multi-sex bathrooms, non-gender bathrooms and locker rooms that are designed differently for privacy reasons,” said Martin. 

School officials say further plans will be discussed in a series of three public meetings starting Thursday night.

“It’s a process they’re going to have to go through to see what works for them and for their community,” added Martin.

Tonight’s meeting will take place at Garden Spot High School, located at 669 East Main Street in New Holland at 6:00 p.m.

The next two meetings will take place March 5 at 8:00 a.m. and March 14 at 6:00 p.m.

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