Plymouth-Canton students flounder – new policy on lavatories and locker rooms
Dec. 18, 2020 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Months of lockdowns and constant vacillation on the part of those who control on-line versus classroom learning has left many Plymouth Canton Schools District students floundering academically, socially and emotionally with an alarming number falling behind in classes or not showing up at all. According to informed sources, those students who were already academically behind before the pandemic are now even further behind, with no plans in place to help them catch-up. The focus of the Board of Education now appears to be on transgender student lavatories and locker rooms.
“We passed this policy to provide a more safe, welcoming environment for all of our students,” …Patti McCoin, Plymouth-Canton Board of Education President.
Members of the Plymouth Canton Community Schools District approved a new transgender policy regarding student restrooms and locker rooms during their regular meeting earlier this month.
The issue was not without controversy as some parents commented that the decision was a means of preparing all students for the diverse professional workplace environment while others labeled the decision as the path of destruction and darkness and vilified it as “evil.”
While some written comments were negative, the overwhelming majority of those who commented were in support of the new policy which had been under consideration by district administration for about a year. The revision will allow transgender or non-conforming students to use the lavatories and locker rooms at school buildings for the sex with which they identify. Those born male could use the female facilities while those born female but identify as male could use the boys’ facilities.
“We passed this policy to provide a more safe, welcoming environment for all of our students,” said Patti McCoin, Plymouth-Canton Board of Education president.
“This policy was designed to provide safety and a sense of belonging to our students, especially those who are often marginalized, bullied and assaulted at higher rates than general ed students,” she said.
“It will not allow predatory sexual behavior, harassment or bullying. That behavior has been and still is prohibited. Engaging in those behaviors will result in disciplinary action,” she said.
Board members read written comments from parents, during the virtual meeting which lasted nearly four hours. Many of the comments had filled social media for several weeks.
“It’s important that these kids know that they are seen and that their lives have value. Research shows that transgender adolescents have a much higher rate of suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts,” one parent wrote.
“We need to prepare our youth and students for a more inclusive work environment where diversity and inclusion are embedded in the work culture,” read another.
Those were countered by opposing views which were highly critical of the policy.
“The transgender is guiding children down a path of destruction and darkness. You are enforcing confusion and deception in young impressionable minds. This policy is evil,” one comment read.
During initial discussions of the policy, some residents of the district claimed it allowed for the possibility of sexual predators in lavatories and locker rooms being used by female students.
That claim was countered by research presented by McCoin who explained that there is a thorough process to identify students as trans in the district.
“This policy will not allow males to claim they are female on a day-to-day basis in order to gain entrance into women’s facilities,” she said. She noted that the policy was similar to those in other districts where no sexual predator issues in the school buildings have been reported.
Plymouth-Canton Educational Park counselor Erin Demarest was in support of the new policy.
“I have seen first-hand the pain and embarrassment trans-gender kids feel over something as simple as a substitute teacher calling them by their legal name in MyStar,” Demarest said during the public comments segment of the meeting. “Adolescence is hard enough for straight kids. These difficulties are intensified exponentially for many transgender students.”