Twin Falls High School was battered by an onslaught of criticism after a debate over the annual school spirit day turned sour. Pressure from transgender students forced the school to change “girls versus boys” to a less gender-specific “pink versus blue” day. That, however, wasn’t quite PC enough for the LGBTQ crowd who showed up to school wearing purple. The resulting harassment was so severe that some students say they’re still too terrified to return to class.
The student council traditionally organizes “girls v. boys” day for April 28th. This year the event became mired in controversy. Transgender students have recently begun demanding special rights at schools across the country. The Obama administration attempted to hoist one-size fits all approach into place, forcing schools to adapt to special laws benefiting the .01 percent.
So the time was ripe for Twin Falls High to become more “inclusive.” School leaders decided to scrap tradition and rename the spirit day competition to “pink v. blue.” They were open about the fact that the move was intended to appease transgender students.
Friendly competition is a healthy part of high school. That shouldn’t be eradicated simply because a few students don’t want to identify as male or female. Changing the event name to “pink v. blue” didn’t even work. LGBTQ students still demanded more. Dozens of students showed up dressed in purple apparently in an attempt to demonstrate that they refuse to pick sides.
A few students hung posters in the days leading up to the event encouraging people to wear purple but the signs were quickly vandalized.
“Within a few hours, most of them had been scribbled on or taken down,” one student told a local newspaper. “That made me feel kind of bad about it but there wasn’t emotion until the next day.”
Many students aren’t prepared to have transgender issues thrown in their faces every day. Schools should work hard to protect their students and make sure that everyone is receiving the same quality of education. They should not be required to enact policies that are specific to LGBTQ teens.
According to an in-depth report on gender identity policies in public schools:
“The solution that schools generally settled upon was to give the student who identified as transgender limited access to other facilities—such as faculty facilities, the teacher’s lounge, or the faculty locker room—or to provide single-occupancy restrooms for any student that did not feel comfortable using a multiple-occupancy intimate facility. They found a way to accommodate both the student who identified as transgender and the rest of the students. These nuanced solutions addressed all involved and reflected their dignity, privacy, and safety concerns.”
The Obama administration upset that stability and insisted that students be allowed to use the school locker room or bathroom that they “identify” with. Such decisions emboldened transgender students and caused massive controversy when they were rescinded during the start of President Trump’s administration.
Transgender students deserve to feel comfortable, but their right doesn’t trump that of other students. If “girls v. boys” is too offensive, surely “pink v. blue” was a good compromise? Why did students feel compelled to wear purple? Is all competition now banned?
In 2015 Twin Falls high adopted a new set of gender policies, including a section about school dress codes. The updated guideline says that dress codes “including (dress codes for) the traditional school day, school activities including dances/prom, and graduation” must be gender-neutral.
“[I] t just doesn’t feel right knowing someone with male anatomy is in the bathroom with me. I have nothing against Student A and would be her friend if I knew her better, but when it comes down to it, I don’t feel right changing in the same room as a transgender student. The locker room is already filled with so much judgment, and I barely feel OK changing in front of my naturally born girl peers,” a 15-year-old girl said after her school was forced to allow male students who identified as trans to dress in the female locker room.
The young woman’s concerns shouldn’t be ignored. Transgender students have to make accommodations.
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