Lee County school board meeting to discuss transgender student policies

Reporter: Nicole Lauren Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Lee County School Board meeting on transgender bathrooms. Credit: WINK News

The Lee County School District will hold a public meeting Monday, and it is expected to be dramatic. Parents will have a chance to express their views about the schools’ code of conduct, specifically surrounding a poster focused on transgender students.

This poster is something that has been in the code of conduct for a year, but is just now under the microscope. One specific section of it has gotten some parents worked up. The poster delineates the ways in which the District supports its LGBTQ students, specifically allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms or locker rooms of their affirmed gender. The District, though, says that’s not quite the case, and that private restrooms are offered for those students on a case-by-case basis.

Parents and board members are mixed on the issue. Some were outraged when they found out this poster was hanging on the walls of schools for their children to read, calling it “inappropriate.” Other parents say they are happy to see the District protecting student rights.

“When a parent entrusts the District with the education of their child, they are not giving you consent to raise that child,” said parent Robert Roper at a previous meeting. “They do not surrender their rights as a parent.”

“Are you prepared for any and all emotional and psychological traumas that will result from an event that transpires?” said parent Christian Lebron.

“You have applied protection to students, to not discriminate because of their gender… their gender identity and their sexual orientation,” said Rev. CJ McGregor with the All Faiths Humanitarian Congregation.

One of the biggest bombshells from the last school board meeting was the fact that some school board members said they had never seen the poster before being included in the Code of Conduct draft. School board member Mary Fischer says they will carefully read over every detail of the next draft of the Code of Conduct.

The point of the poster was “to make sure that we are encouraging respect and acceptance and inclusion of all categories, minorities and marginalized people,” Fischer said. “While we have attention on this item, it will bring us into focus… and make sure that we look at every detail carefully.”

The special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday in the Lee County Public Education Center Board Room at 2855 Colonial Blvd. Fort Myers. The district reminds that the wearing of a mask is required.

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