Town Square: Gender roles and bathroom use in Caroline County schools; Loss of Dorchester County staff


Town Square is an opinion column to which readers can submit their views. As a true community newspaper, we’re always looking for ways to include local thought and pertinent viewpoints. This column is a way to share those thoughts. Civility and fair comment will always prevail.

Citizens around the nation are discussing the use of public schools’ bathrooms and locker rooms by individuals who do not identify by traditional gender roles. The following comments are in regard to Caroline County.

ASKING FOR THOUGHTS: I’m not looking to bash any particular person or group of people. I’m asking what everyone’s thoughts are that are parents of young ladies in the Caroline County school system. The situation involves students who are male that identify as a female and that are using facilities bathroom/locker rooms that align with their gender identity.
I’m not a biological parent of any kids in school but I am a bonus dad, of two amazing young ladies that are students in the caroline county school system. It has come to my attention that there are girls in the school system that have to use the bathroom either in the principals office or in the nurses room that feel uncomfortable with sharing a bathroom with a male, that has his male parts, but identifies as a female, because it would be unconstitutional to tell this young man he cannot use the girls’ restroom.
So, the majority of the girls that feel uncomfortable with sharing the restroom with this young man, have to go out of their way and be inconvenienced to use a bathroom on the opposite end of the school during school hours. This is not okay to me, and from what I gather there is no policy in the caroline county school system to address this situation.
My question is, to those of you who have daughters in school, would you be ok with your daughter/daughters sharing a bathroom/locker room with a male, that has all his God-given male parts still intact but identifies as a female? I believe this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, because this situation could get way out of hand very quickly, because as of right now any male can say he identifies as a female and walk in the ladies’ bathroom/locker room and nobody can apparently question him or tell him no because it would be unconstitutional to say so. This is not ok.

THE REAL PROBLEM: The problem comes when straight guys try to abuse the policy. Trans folks aren’t the ones to worry about. I have two daughters myself.

SOME ARE UNCOMFORTABLE: It’s not a question whether or not the trans folks are the ones to worry about. The point is, that there are young ladies who feel uncomfortable sharing the bathroom/locker rooms with a transgender person and they are the ones who are being told to adjust and go out of their way to use the bathroom. That doesn’t sit well with me. Plus, if I had a daughter in high school and they had a male who identified as a female and used the shower in the locker room after gym, when they still have their male parts, I would not want my daughter to be subjected to that. Common sense has to come into play eventually.

SOLUTION?: Maybe have three bathrooms? His, hers, and others. Or, locked single seater bathrooms.

MORE CONVENIENT: The single occupancy bathrooms would be the right thing to do. So no one has to go out of their way.

WHO PAYS?: And who pays for all these new bathrooms for 0.6% of the population in America? I feel this is a choice these people have made. So if they have made this choice, then if there is some sort of inconvenience, that should not fall on everyone else. I don’t care how anyone chooses to live their life, but in no way should it affect someone else’s life.

NURSE’S OFFICE: Why can’t the children who are identifying as their opposite biological sex be the ones to use other restrooms in the office/nurses office? I would throw a fit if a biological male, no matter what he identifies as, walked into my daughter’s bathroom/locker room. Especially if he still had male parts.

USE BIRTH CERTIFICATE: Absolutely insane! Why do we as parents even sign all those papers for at birth then? I completely support anyone’s wishes. But until you are 18 or until you change your sex then you are what your birth certificate says and should have to use the proper restroom in school according to what sex you were at birth.

BOYS DEAL WITH IT, TOO: Girls are doing it too. My son is in middle school and females are going into boys’ bathrooms and using them.

NOBODY VOTED: Nobody voted on this. They need parents to be aware and how to resolve it before a child gets assaulted, raped, etc. Then they will have a bigger problem on their hands if that happens they are opening the door to a lot of bad situations waiting to happen. It’s all secrecy.

FEAR OF RIDICULE: Yes, there’s a high percentage of transgender students who either use the bathrooms in the office or skip using the bathroom at all from fear of being ridiculed or assaulted by other students because of their situation. I remember being ridiculed by the clothes I wore to school when I was a student, but if I had to go I went to the bathroom regardless. It’s called having thick skin and not letting it get to you. Kids nowadays are different.

NO ISSUES: We have separate bathrooms that we have designated with unisex but ultimately haven’t had any issues I’m aware of. I understand the fear of what could happen though, for sure. People could absolutely take advantage of that and make things 10x harder for those students who identify as trans. It’s a difficult situation and each instance is unique. Hard to have a set of rules for something as complicated as sexuality. I feel like three bathrooms to choose from puts children at ease. If something does happen, though, it’s important to document so that any issues can be brought to the attention of the school officials

RULES: I talked to the principal. He stated that him, her, he, she may not use the locker room until all other opposite-sex students have finished using the locker room. But yes, all bathrooms are fair game for whomever. I also asked if for some reason a bathroom full of girls happened to see the boys genitals while he was in there. Could he be charged with indecent exposure? He did not know the answer.

Questions have arisen regarding the departure of Dorchester County officials in the last year and a half.
HARD TO FILL POSITIONS: Wicomico County has more job openings than Dorchester. Talbot has fewer than Dorchester and Caroline has about as many open positions as Talbot. Every county has their fair share of employees that come and go. Dorchester has gained some from Talbot, Caroline has gained some from Dorchester, etc. In case you didn’t know it, people don’t want to work these days. Everyone is having issues filling positions.
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