Linn-Mar school board passes new policy for transgender students
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn-Mar Community School District voted 5-2 to establish a new policy related to transgender students.
The policy will create a “gender support plan” for students in seventh graders or older, which will include a student’s new name and pronouns. It will decide if students can use locker rooms, bathrooms or stay in rooms overnight correlating with their gender identity.
Brittania Morey, who is the school board president, said in an April 13 Facebook post the district is creating the policy to follow state and federal law. She also said, even though this is a new policy, the procedures are not new.
“It is important to note while this policy is a new policy, it does NOT establish new procedures,” Morey wrote.
Around 80 people came to speak about the new policy. A majority of those speakers were against the policy because parental involvement isn’t required, concerns about student safety and privacy in bathrooms and overall concerns about people who are transgender.
Those against the policy organized online with a petition, which has around 3,500 signatures.
Nick Hall, who spoke against the policy, said he believes the policy discriminates against his family’s freedom of religion. He said he wants to raise his children with Christian values and wants his school to always communicate his children’s decisions with him.
“I deserve to know the accommodations made available to my children when the overnight accommodations become part of my children’s lives in order to help them understand how their decisions are or are not reflected in scripture,” Hall said.
Barb Johnson, who spoke at public comment, said she was frustrated with the school board overall. She said the board should focus only on education.
”Your job is in education,” she said. “You are not scientists, biologists, psychologists or otherwise.”
The board rejected a motion to table the policy before passing the new policy. People called the board “disgusting,” “pigs” and threaten to open enroll in another school district.
Students at Linn-Mar High School walked out of class in November 2021 after posters in support of Transgender Awareness Week were vandalized. A much smaller group of students held a counter-protest.
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