Bathroom panic in Vermont

Seems to be a little confusion down Chester way. Officials at Green Mountain Union High School have barred a transgender student from using boys’ restrooms. In response, a couple dozen students staged a protest on Monday. WCAX:

Recently a transgender student, who identifies as a boy, was told he could no longer use the boy’s bathrooms at the school.  A complaint from a fellow student prompted the school’s decision.

… As the protest unfolded outside, school officials claim they have been ahead of the issue of supporting students’ rights, including the LGBT community. The school has six gender neutral bathrooms. The trans student was told to use one of them.

Yeah, kid, go use the Weirdo Bathroom. That won’t create a stigma.

On its face, this would seem to violate the legal principle that “separate but equal” isn’t the same as “equal.”

School district superintendent Bruce Williams asserts that the district “is not discriminating or breaking any laws.” That’s arguable; WCAX quotes former US Attorney Tris Coffin as saying that Vermont law hasn’t been tested in court on this particular issue. But it’s hard to imagine that a fair-minded court would approve the school’s action. Here’s the relevant portion of the law:

An owner or operator of a place of public accommodation or an agent or employee of such owner or operator shall not, because of race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity of any person, refuse, withhold from, or deny to that person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of the place of public accommodation. 9 V.S. A. § 4502(a).

“… deny to that person any of the… facilities.” That word “any,” by itself, means you can’t prohibit a trans boy from using the boys’ restroom, even if you offer a substitute.

Remember, this action was in response to a complaint from one student. One.

Maybe the real problem isn’t the trans student; it’s the kid whose ignorance could use, well, a little education. The school, in essence, blamed the victim of bathroom panic instead of the source.

Here’s the reality. If you use any public restroom, you have shared that space with transgender persons. You have. It’s a statistical certainty. Get used to it.

You just didn’t know it because people don’t prance around restrooms with their genitals exposed. In this case, the complainer happened to know that his fellow restroom occupant was trans. In every other situation in public life, he will not know. He needs to learn that. Fortunately, he spends his days in a place where he can learn stuff, if only the school would follow through.

Recently, the state Agency of Education issued guidelines on accommodating trans students. The language on restrooms is clear:

The use of restrooms and locker rooms by transgender students requires schools to consider numerous factors, including, but not limited to: the transgender student’s preference; protecting student privacy; maximizing social integration of the transgender student; minimizing stigmatization of the student; ensuring equal opportunity to participate; the student’s age; and protecting the safety of the students involved.

On the basis of preference, social integration, minimizing stigmatization, and equal opportunity, GMUHS is failing to meet the guidelines. Unfortunately, the Agency included some wiggle room:

Schools may consider including gender neutral restrooms into the design of new construction and/or building renovation.

Which is a craven sanction of “separate but equal.”

Forcing trans students to use gender-neutral bathrooms is better than nothing, but it falls short of full equality. Educators should know better. The Agency of Education should know better.

In the words of Dr. King, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” I hope our educators aren’t falling behind the curve.

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22 thoughts on “Bathroom panic in Vermont

  1. Kay Trudell

    ANYONE can use a gender neutral or “family” restroom. They are a one-toilet smaller restroom with a door that closes and locks. Anyone can use one. Straight, gay, transgender, bi, whatever. Privacy is preserved and no one needs to know what you look like when you open or pull down your drawers. I have used them and I am a straight female. They are not just for “stigmatizing” people. That is nothing but liberal P.C. propaganda designed to demonize people who do not want the opposite sex in their bathrooms. The liberal agenda is growing more and more perverse and controlling. And, I note, it is mostly men who are pushing women into accepting this and living with it. Shame on you adults who care more for the liberal agenda than you do for the safety of students, or the feelings of the huge majority of the population in the U.S. You are the bullies of sexual anarchy. How dare you use the “separate but equal” argument?? That is nothing but the politically correct bullying slogan of the day in this situation. Only the feelings of the trans people matter, apparently. Well I can assure you, that is not at all the case. Build the “family” or private restrooms and this will be a non issue. But that is not really what this is all about, is it? It is the politically correct agenda, and common sense has no place here. You are forgetting that we have a Constitution and that it guarantees freedom of association. You are forcing me to associate with males in my female restroom. That makes you a bully. Bullying works several ways. And shame on you for co-opting the words of the Rev. Dr. ML King, Jr. He was a Christian minister. You are perverting his words and what they mean. He would NEVER have approved of males in women’s restrooms. What twisted part of the liberal agenda is next to be foisted upon us?

    Reply
    1. verplanck

      “Privacy is preserved and no one needs to know what you look like when you open or pull down your drawers.”

      Who looks at other people while they pull down their pants/skirts in a bathroom? Don’t all stalls have walls? I can’t for the life of me understand this issue at all. Nature calls, go in a restroom, close the stall door, do your business, wash your hands, and leave. For men, it does get a bit more complicated…https://blog.xkcd.com/2009/09/02/urinal-protocol-vulnerability/

      Reply
      1. Kay Trudell

        (1) I know what Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. would have said because he was a serious Christian minister and would have called this sinful or at the very least immodest. Did you even know he was a Christian minister? The media today buries that fact deep. They call him Dr. King but not Rev. Dr. ML King Jr. Read his writings, including ALL of his letter from the Birmingham jail, not just the edited versions the modern media put out. Coretta King has already spoken out and made Rev. Dr. MLK’s position quite clear on the topics of same-sex marriage and society’s approval of homosexuality because liberals were saying MLK would have approved of the gay agenda because he fought against racial discrimination. She stated he would have rejected it because he was a Christian minister. It’s pretty obvious what he would have thought about men using restrooms with his wife and daughters and nieces etc. (2) I am aware of the facts in this particular case. This case is much more unusual. Most of the cases so far in America have involved adult men and high school males trying to get into the ladies’ restrooms. (3) I think it is appalling that adults are enabling the sexual confusion of children and youth. And they are. This is sexual anarchy. A society in which there are no more moral absolutes will soon be unable to recognize absolutes in almost any area. (4) The feelings of the huge majority of women in this country are being scoffed at and belittled in the name of the feelings of a tiny minority of sexually confused persons and liberals who love political correctness. (5) In your zeal to become an apologist for the trans movement, you forget that predators can hide among the trans people using that opening as the basis to gain access to (in most cases) the women’s restrooms and changing rooms in stores. Women are highly unlikely to expose themselves or assault men in their restrooms. It will be the other way around 99% of the time. (6) A case has already occurred in Target. A male “peeper” used their new policy to gain access to the women’s changing rooms (not the bathrooms), stood on the bench, looked over into the next room where a woman was changing, and started taking photographs of her over the top of the wall. She filed a complaint with Target and went public with it. Maybe a trans person might not assault someone, but others posing as them will use the new laws as targets of opportunity. (7) Have you ever had a man deliberately enter your restroom (not accidentally) and do his business in front of you? How did that make you feel?

      2. Kay Trudell

        verplanck, but women’s restrooms do not have urinals like men’s restrooms do. And there are no doors on urinals. So women’s restrooms are not equipped for trans men who still have their penises. Which means they are still men. So what are they supposed to do? Pee sitting down? That is what they should do if they are really a woman. Or will they raise the seat and stand in front of it, which is not really what female restroom toilets are optimally designed for. A trans man with his penis still attached is not a woman. Period. I am sure we will soon see unisex toilet bowls which companies will have to design at their own expense to meet the demands of the politically correct. (And by the way, if you don’t think men look at other men while doing their business in restrooms, you don’t know much about men. Please. They will look in women’s restrooms also. Men are visual, in case you have not studied Psychology 101.)

      3. John S. Walters Post author

        What in the world is to prevent a person with a penis from peeing while sitting down? I do it all the time.

        And no, I don’t look at other men. The last time I did was when a guy a couple urinals down was watching videos on his smartphone while doing his business. I wasn’t checking out his wee-wee, I was just stunned at the idea that you need 4G entertainment to occupy your mind for 30 seconds. And I wondered how often he washes his phone. Yuck.

    2. Steph

      Men pushing women? Lady get your facts straight. We are talking about a high school. The student was going to use the boys bathroom. So it wasn’t the other way around. And how exactly do you KNOW what Dr. King would or wouldn’t say. Oh and thanks for bringing up Christianity as well. WTH does that have to do with anything? Yes the liberal agenda is spreading through schools now infecting the young minds!! Lmao get over yourselves.

      Reply
  2. newzjunqie

    First thought when this became new rights-mandated cause celebre was wow…of all places never thought I would need to be afraid to use the damn restroom. All of us have a right to not just *be assured* of personal safety but to *feel safe* in our persons, and to know our friends & families are also safe. Soo…what is wrong with this picture? I must say that I do not feel safe in a bathroom with males period. No matter what gender they ID as.

    Soo…all a male predator or serial rapist or killer (most ar male) need do is claim s/he IDs F pull on a wig & voila! instant access to women & young girls??? Wow-that was easy! Safety of life & limb takes backseat to perceptions and someones’ feelings? What about the feelings of those who feel unsafe-suck it up ladies?

    Go ahead & call me crazy sir:

    Reply
    1. John S. Walters Post author

      There has never been a case of a trans person assaulting a woman or girl in a public restroom. And even if you impose an unenforceable ban on trans people using the “wrong” restroom, you are no more safe from actual predators who wouldn’t balk at hiding in a women’s room just because it’s “illegal.”

      However, women’s rooms are far from the best place to assault someone, considering that they are very public spaces with a lot of in-and-out traffic. The whole “predator in a wig” thing is complete nonsense.

      Reply
      1. newzjunqie

        How do you know and what if you’re wrong. Leaving oneself vulnerable & in a defenseless position is pure folly imho. No rapes murders or robberies in my hood however I do lock my doors.
        Your example could happen however men being accepted into F restroom with a child is in actuality an invitation to a predator. Also an assault against females of all ages as it places us in danger. Never thought I would be defending my right to be safe or common sense.

        Lightning strikes once sir.

      2. John S. Walters Post author

        So you want trans men using the women’s restroom? They’re the ones who look absolutely male, and some have had their plumbing aligned with their identity, but their birth certificates list them as female. Is that what you want? Or do you want trans women to use the women’s room? They’re the ones who “look like” women. And, as I’ve said before, if you’ve used public restrooms, you have shared them with transgender people. You just didn’t know it because they didn’t flash their plumbing your way.

        Women have a lot to be fearful of in America. Trans people in public restrooms is not one of those things.

  3. katrinkavt

    “All-Gender restrooms are designed to ensure that restrooms are fully accessible to all members of society. While the issue of gender inclusive restrooms has been raised as an equity and human rights issue for people who identify outside of the gender binary, eliminating gender segregation in bathrooms also benefits disabled populations who may have attendants of a different gender, parents with children, and anyone who may need additional assistance using public toilet facilities. For gender-variant people and others who identify or are perceived to be outside the gender binary, A-Gender restrooms can eliminate discrimination and harassment for people who may be perceived to be in the “wrong” bathroom.[7] One survey of transgender populations conducted in Washington, DC- based survey, by the group DC Trans Coalition, “found that 70 percent of survey respondents report experiencing verbal harassment, assault, and being denied access to public restrooms.[7]” It also found that “54 percent of all respondents reported having some sort of physical problem from trying to avoid using public restrooms, such as dehydration, kidney infections, and urinary tract infections” making access to safe restrooms a public health issue..”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisex_public_toilet

    Reply
    1. Kay Trudell

      katrinkavt, first the argument for trans people in restrooms of the opposite sex was for equality and non discrimination. Now the pushers of this agenda are using the public health argument. That’s a new one. Nice redirect. Gotta give the liberal PC crowd its due: you are quick on your feet and can turn on a dime. Do you know that is almost identical to what happened in the case of legalizing abortion? First the court ruled in 1973 that it was a woman’s right because of privacy and non personhood of the human fetus, but later the pro choice crowd said it was all about reproductive health. Health. (They forgot about the health of the unborn baby.) Now this trans agenda will be all about “public health”. Health again. Shameless PC propaganda. And our courts will fall right in line. What about the public health of the VAST majority of Americans who object? Ooooo, we are just as transphobic (another liberal coined term) as we were homophobic (another liberal coined term). We just need to get over it. The liberal agenda is really shameless. And I mean that both ways.

      Reply
  4. Brian Spigel

    Never underestimate the ability of religious bigots to render themselves victims. From now on, when I pee standing up I shall refer to it as peeing “Jesus-style”. Thank you, Kay.

    Reply
    1. Kay Trudell

      Brian, the normal and common sense order of things was that men have been peeing standing up for about 10,000 years or more. Jesus only came to earth 2,000 years ago, so leave Him out of it. Why pick on Him in particular anyway? Use a little common sense. Do you think it is only Christian women who do not want men in their restrooms? Ask an observant Jew or Sikh. Ask a Muslim woman whether she wants that. And then when she objects, mock Allah or Mohammed in the same way you just mocked Jesus. But you won’t do that, will you? And why not? Because you are afraid to. You might be separated from your head. But Christian “religious bigots” won’t do that, so they and their God (Jesus) are easier targets. Just like the little girl victims in restrooms when a perv uses this new mandate to gain access. No thank you very much. You are a guy. I don’t want you in my restroom. You are determined to paint only trans people as victims, but they are far from the only victims in this whole sad affair.

      Reply
      1. John S. Walters Post author

        Well hey, at least you’re not a Creationist.

        And in terms of how long human beings have been doing what, well, we should stop building bathrooms entirely and just do our business in a designated spot in the woods.

      2. Kay Trudell

        We all just need to use common sense here. The problem would be solved if we simply had three restrooms in public places or in schools. A women’s restroom, a men’s restroom, and a private, one-toilet “family restroom” that ANYONE can use, with a door that closes and locks. This is the easiest way to resolve the issue. I have used a “family restroom” numerous times in public as well as the women’s restroom. This accommodates everybody. This is not a problem. No one cares what you are when you use the family restroom. Do people want to actually solve a problem and accommodate everybody, while making everybody feel safe, or is this really about an agenda rather than reaching a common sense solution for an issue that is affecting all of us, not just trans people?

      3. Kay Trudell

        Install an additional “Family” or “Unisex” one-toilet private restroom with a door that closes and locks, which can be used by anybody, and that will solve the problem for all concerned.

  5. Kay Trudell

    John, just noting that (regarding your statement above) when you sat down to pee you were doing it in a public MEN’s bathroom, not a women’s public bathroom, or in the privacy of your own home or in a family restroom. You were not in a women’s public bathroom. Apples and oranges.

    Reply
  6. Kay Trudell

    To answer your question, the issue of transgender bathrooms was discussed as far back as 1978 during the debate over whether to add an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Americans did not want transgender bathrooms back then. There was quite an outcry! The majority (huge majority) still don’t want them. That was one of several reasons the equal rights amendment was defeated at that time. Other reasons were the possible drafting of women into the military and even placing them into combat. It is interesting to note that when Americans expressed these fears during that particular debate in the 1970’s, the liberal left mocked them and said those things would never happen. Turns out, they probably will happen today. It just took a few decades longer. Today people are not just concerned about actual trans persons in the bathrooms, but (especially in the case of men in women’s bathrooms) there are no specific guidelines about who really is trans and who is just saying that to get into the opposite sex’s restroom or shower or changing room. There has already been a perv incident at Target because of their new policy. And no guidelines about whether a man who still has a penis but dresses like a woman is really not still a man. And whether it is okay to have a person be able to change genders at will just because of how they feel, from one day to the next. In other words, anarchy and confusion among 99 percent of the population to accommodate one-third of one percent of the population. Parents are legitimately concerned for their children’s safety. You cannot discount that or scoff at it. Those parents are not bigots. They are PARENTS and those are their children. Their children to do not belong to the State. And their children sure do not belong to President Obama. If you have been online in the past few days, you can see that there is strong opposition to Obama’s sweeping and unilateral trans bathroom mandate and people are calling him the “toilet terrorist”. He has once again overstepped his Constitutional bounds and decreed something, bypassing the legislatures of all 50 states.

    Reply
    1. John S. Walters Post author

      You just don’t get it. A trans woman looks like a woman, although some or all of her concealed physiology may be male. A trams man looks like a man, although some of the concealed physiology may be female. When you have laws like HB2, you force people who look decidedly male to use female restrooms.

      If you want bearded linebacker types in your women’s rooms, then by all means, pass an HB2. If you don’t want bearded linebacker types in your women’s rooms, then you have to allow trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Just that simple.

      Reply

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