Backlash Against Transgender Locker Rooms in Clovis, California

Two young girls were forced to change for swim class in front of a biological boy according to their mothers, who say attempts to get the Clover Unified School District to accommodate the young, intermediate school girls were ignored.

Mothers Kathy Hannen and Emily Wildey said at a Wednesday board meeting that they first contacted Clovis Unified trustees in May when they learned that their daughters voiced their concerns about being made to change in front of a biological boy, according to the Fresno Bee. They said they were told to accept it or withdraw their daughters. The transgender bathroom/locker room law that California Gov. Jerry Brown signed in 2013 was cited as the reason the girls were forced to change in front of the boy.

“Explain to my 14-year-old that this did not happen. Explain to her that she was not forced all semester to change in front of a boy,” said Hannen, according to the Bee. “While everyone is denying that this happened, nobody is actually reaching out to my daughter. This is happening, and it’s something that needs to be addressed.”

California’s AB 1266, the “bathroom bill,” pointedly applies to children disrobing in school locker rooms. The 2013 bill allows children to use a bathroom or locker room for the opposite gender to the one that they are biologically.

Since Brown signed AB 1266, the Obama Administration intervened in the state’s decision and made written declaration that transgender students may use the bathroom for the gender with which the child identifies. Though not law, under the May 2016 order, schools were put under threat of losing federal funding should they not comply, Fox News reported.

Obama has insistently defended the order, which was made as debate surrounded North Carolina House Bill 2. Elected North Carolina legislators passed that law, defining sex discrimination to correlate with a person’s biological sex and requiring people to use the bathroom which coincides with his or her biological sex. A federal judge blocked the bill last month; however, the final word may be determined in the Supreme Court next year.

“What do you do when God’s law goes this way and man’s law goes this way?” Wildey said at the Wednesday meeting in central California, according to the Bee. She now homeschools her daughter because of this incident. She said she wasn’t asking for the law to be defied, but “We are asking you to fight for our children.”

Hannen added that her request was not that the transgender student be removed, but simply that her daughter be provided an alternative option to changing clothes in front of the biological male. She said the real issue is with each student having a right to privacy that these children were denied over and over again. Hannah said the mothers were blindsided and that they had been unaware a biological male was changing in the same locker room as their female children. Hannah’s daughter is no longer at the intermediate school and is now a student at an area high school.

The Bee recorded that other parents associated with the group Stop the Madness also spoke in support of the mothers at Wednesday Clovis meeting. Due to the level of parental concern over this issue, Clovis has installed private changing stalls and standalone bathroom trailers since the girls’ concerns were ignored. One member of the group spoke out at the meeting revealing that the stalls merely have curtains and that there should be lockable doors and children should be allowed to opt out of a P.E. class if the current situation is uncomfortable.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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