Lancaster County school district approves controversial new bathroom, locker room policy

LANCASTER COUNTY — The Eastern Lancaster County school board voted 6-2 to approve a policy that calls to replace boys and girls restrooms and locker rooms with secured, single-user, gender-neutral facilities in all school buildings, according to LancasterOnline.

The “Physical Privacy” policy was created by a four-member committee of the board that was formed in January to respond to public outcry over the school district’s decision to allow a transgender student who identifies as male use the boys facilities at Garden Spot High School.

The decision was made after a three-hour meeting Monday night attended by roughly 300 people.

One board member was not present at the meeting.

LancasterOnline reports that some members expressed concern over an addendum to the policy that essentially reverses the board’s decision in January to accommodate the transgender student while the renovation plan for the facilities is reviewed and executed.

“We recommend that where ever we cannot provide single-user facilities when changing or using the bathroom facilities, students are to use the facilities based on their biological sex,” the addendum states.

Rodney Jones, vice-president of the school board, said the addendum could risk a potential lawsuit because of the addendum’s recommendation that students use the facilities based on their biological sex, rather than their gender identity. He requested the board hold off on voting until the district’s solicitor could examine the policy in full.

The board went ahead with the vote instead.

The policy was set to go into effect on May 14 — one day after the board’s next work session. The effective date was set at that date in case the board needs to make changes to the policy between now and then.

The board set an effective date of May 14, a day after the board’s next work session, in case it needs to make changes to the policy between now and then.

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