LGBTQ groups call for trans-inclusive restrooms in Pickens County

Add this share

Georgia Equality and 11 other LGBTQ and allied groups criticized the Pickens County School Board’s decision to block access for transgender students to the restrooms that match their gender identity.

The board, citing death threats, harassment and vandalism, voted Oct. 15 to suspend Superintendent Carlton Wilson’s decision to allow an unidentified trans student to use the bathroom with which they identify.

Georgia Equality led a coalition of organizations knocking the move in a press release issued Friday.

“It’s disappointing that the parents of these students are raising unfounded safety concerns,” said Chanel Haley, gender inclusion manager at Georgia Equality. “It’s simple. Going to the restroom is a natural and private act for all people — and everyone, including transgender people, deserves to use the restroom and go about their day unharmed.”

Organizations that signed on to the statement included ACLU of Georgia, Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force, PFLAG Woodstock, Southern Poverty Law Center, Transcending Barriers, Trevor Project and Trans Housing Atlanta Program.

The groups condemned any threats of violence and hatred. They also offered to work with the school board to address the needs of trans students.

The controversy began Oct. 11 when Wilson (photo) announced that the school system would allow an unidentified trans student to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. Some 700 people attended a community meeting about the issue on Oct. 14, most of whom attacked the new policy.

The school board held an emergency meeting the next day and claimed that a rash of death threats, student harassment and vandalism of school property pushed it to act.

“The district understands and acknowledges that it has the responsibility to protect its staff and students,” the board wrote in a press release. “However, the district has concerns that it may not be able to meet these recently increased demands.”

The board will no longer allow trans student to use restrooms that match their gender identity until the safety concerns can be addressed, according to the press release.

“We ask that all of our stakeholders exercise patience and discretion until these matters can be resolved,” they said.

THE LATEST

Gay Falcons cheerleader says ‘I will’ to gametime marriage proposal

LGBT Atlanta shows out in unexpected ways sometimes. That certainly goes for one of the NFL’s only out gay cheerleaders, Ben Ajani. But even...

The best LGBTQ things to do in Atlanta this weekend

Gay Atlanta’s calendar stays busy for “Winter Pride,” plus the closing of an institution, the return of a British legend, local revelry and more. Keep...

Everton Blair would be Georgia’s first gay schools superintendent

After becoming the youngest, first Black and first gay school board member in Gwinnett County, Everton Blair topped it to become chair. On Friday,...

Photos: Déjà Vu doubles patrons pleasure at BJ Roosters

Boys on the bar is the mantra at Atlanta gay club BJ’s. The New Year’s Eve bump and grind gave revelers even more for...

The best LGBTQ things to do in Atlanta this weekend

Local representation, international sensations, queens of comedy and the end of an era. Just your average ordinary packed schedule of gay events in Atlanta...
17,446FansLike
7,001FollowersFollow
7,682FollowersFollow

PHOTO GALLERIES