Fannin County parents confront school board over possible unisex bathrooms

- Hundreds of parents met in prayer Thursday over a bathroom battle in the Fannin County schools similar to what's happening in North Carolina.

Parents and community members met at the First Baptist Church in downtown Blue Ridge before marching over to confront school board members at the school board meeting to voice their concerns.

“As far as my grandchildren and other children in this community being subjected to their values being compromised because of that, I just do not think it is fair, the majority has a values system too,” said School Resource Officer and community organizer, Anthony Walden.

 

 

Hundreds of community members packed the Fannin County High School cafeteria and auditorium Thursday.  Some parents told the board they are against the possibility of the district allowing transgender students to use restrooms of the gender they identify with.

Some did voice their support for unisex bathrooms, including Xavier Eaton, a former Fannin County student and transgender male who says he was bullied everyday in high school.  Eaton said he felt compelled to stand up after he said people were booing those who disagreed with the majority of parents.

“We have to co exist,” said Eaton.   “People have to learn to live with what they don’t understand.”

 

 

Dixie Carter agrees with Eaton. She said it is important to advocate for those who may not have a voice.

“I think it is important for people to meet and talk with people who are different and get to know each other and then things seem to kind of maybe click,” said Carter.

 

 

The school attorney said if there is a case of discrimination against a transgender student, the district could lose millions of dollars.

“I believe number one, your values ought to be God first, children and then the finances. I believe that they are trying to put finance ahead of our children and that is the wrong way,” said parent Aaron Lewis.

Privacy law prevents school officials from confirming if there is a transgender student, but the superintendent says the system must abide by federal law and they cannot discriminate against anyone.

The issue was not on the school board’s agenda Thursday and the chair said they would not comment after the public comment portion of the meeting.  The school board attorney, Lynn Doss did read statement saying in part that if a decision had to be made, it would not come from the board because they receive federal funds and must abide by federal government guidelines.  Doss said if any changes are made they must come from the federal government.  Doss added that the district has not made any changes to the bathroom, but some parents disagree. 

A report late Thursday night suggested that the Obama administration will soon weigh in on this exact issue. Click here to read the latest.

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