Haywood County North Carolina school leaders said Pisgah High School students last week reported seeing a transgender student use a bathroom they believed did not match the student’s birth certificate. The school leaders said they met the student and their family and developed a plan for the student to use individual bathrooms at the school. Associate Superintendent Bill Nolte said, “Everyone worked together to get together a plan in place where that student could go to a restroom and feel safe. We’ve identified a number of restrooms for the student to use and they seem to be perfectly happy with that.”
While that HB2 legal battle continues, school and university officials in North Carolina increasingly feel caught in the middle between conflicting federal and state guidelines. Nolte said that the school developed a plan that focuses on the safety and security of all students. He added, “We don’t want to lose funding from the state or the Federal Government. That’s why we feel like it’s not fair for them to put public schools in a situation of being a pawn that can be manipulated for political purposes.”
District school leaders will discuss the issue over summer break and then will meet with principals to discuss future plans before the school year begins in the fall.
This common sense solution outlined in North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, stands in contrast to the federal guidelines memorandum issued by the Department of Education in May and is an approach that the Department of Justice considers a violation of the student’s civil rights.