A Maryland school district is instructing teachers and administrators not to tell parents if their daughters are bunking with male students who identify as girls on overnight field trips.
Bob Mosier, chief communications officer for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, says in a training video detailing how to accommodate transgender students that privacy issues regarding the student prevent the district from informing parents about such arrangements.
“So, many of you might be asking yourselves, ‘So I’m at an overnight field trip, and I have student who’s biologically a male, identifies as a female, and we’ve worked with that student and her family, and that student wants to sleep in the dorms, or whatever sleeping arrangements are, with the females,’” Mr. Mosier says in a video of the training session. “They don’t want to sleep in a room by themselves; they want to sleep with the rest of the females. So what do we do?
“And the answer is, they sleep with the females,” he said. “That’s not the easy answer; it’s the right answer. And in some cases, it’s going to cause issues, because … the private information piece doesn’t allow you to share that with parents of all of the other campers. Right? So that’s difficult.”
Writing at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher said the video is “very instructive, though not necessarily in the way the school system intends.”
“This gender insanity is not everywhere, yet, but it’s coming,” Mr. Dreher wrote. “Mark that. If you’re a teacher, administrator, or staffer for a public school system anywhere in the United States, you are going to find yourself sitting in a seminar just like this one day, if you haven’t already. And if you object, you’re a bigot.”
The school district uploaded the video on July 12. Mr. Mosier says in the video that the meeting was conducted in June.
Anne Arundel County comprises Annapolis and several other neighborhoods south of Baltimore. The school district serves approximately 80,000 students.
Mr. Mosier said the field trip policy is aimed at ensuring all students are given a chance to reach their full potential, regardless of their gender identity.
“To do that, we must support all students, and all means all,” Mr. Mosier said in a statement to The Washington Times. “All can’t mean ”all minus this group, or that group.’ When we start doing that, we are segregating children and not fully supporting them.”
The training session was held in response to the Obama administration’s order in May compelling public schools nationwide to regulate bathrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex.
The Maryland Office of the Attorney General sent a letter at the time instructing school boards to comply with the edict, saying failure to do so put them “at the risk of liability or loss of federal funds under Title IX.”
The Obama administration order was halted when a federal judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction Sunday blocking the edict’s implementation nationwide, after two coalitions of states, totaling 24 in all, sued the federal government over the mandate.
The states argued that the order violated administrative procedure regulations and misinterpreted federal antidiscrimination laws, including Title IX, which specifically allows restrooms to be segregated by biological sex.
But the injunction on the federal order will likely have little effect in Maryland, where the state’s own public schools already were taking steps toward integrating intimate facilities for transgender students.
Anne Arundel officials indicated that they were in compliance with the Obama administration’s order well before it was issued, a local NBC affiliate reported. The Maryland State Department of Education issued guidelines in October recommending that public schools permit access to restrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity, not biological sex.
The national fight over accommodating transgender students who wish to use intimate facilities corresponding with their gender identity has been more contentious.
The U.S. Department of Justice and North Carolina filed dueling lawsuits in May over a state law regulating public facilities on the basis of biological sex.
That same month, a group of 51 Chicago-area parents filed a lawsuit against a local school district and the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, challenging their interpretation of Title IX.
The highest court to weigh in on the issue, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, upheld the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX. But the Supreme Court temporarily halted that ruling this month, preventing a biologically female student from using the boys’ bathroom at a Virginia high school while the legal fight plays out.