Marion County school board passes transgender bathroom ban

Marion County School Board members on Tuesday voted 4-1 to approve a resolution to limit bathroom use by students based on sex at birth and not gender identity -- a measure critics argue is meant to target transgendered persons.

The vote flies right in the face of a recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling which says students who attend schools that receive any federal funding need to be treated consistent with the gender to which they identify.     

All four women on the board voted for the restrictions, saying they were concerned about the safety and privacy of the few transgender students in the district, as well as everyone else.  Board Chair Bobby James urged members to wait until after a state workshop to see how other districts are dealing with the controversial subject.

Prior to the meeting, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a warning letter to board members, stating that this resolution was in violation of Title IX.  Title IX prohibits schools that receive federal funds from engaging in sex discrimination.  

The Marion County School District's attorney warned members that the resolution my not hold up against legal challenges, but the board members in favor of the measure say they believe Title IX doesn't apply, because sex is decided at birth.

The resolution goes into effect immediately.   As far as enforcement goes?  Board member Nancy Stacy said teachers know who the transgender students are.