After an Illinois school implemented a policy that allowed students who said they were transgender to use the bathroom of their choice, it said non-transgender students who were uncomfortable with the decision could opt to use the bathroom in the nurse’s office. What the school failed to anticipate was that so many students took it up on the offer that the line for the nurse’s bathroom began forming down the hall.
The miscalculation caused the superintendent to say the students were “harassing” the transgender students by opting for the private bathroom, according to records obtained by Parents Defending Education and shared first with The Daily Wire.
“When biologically male high school students came forward and stated they were uncomfortable with biological female students using male restrooms, we told those students they could use the nurse’s office restroom,” Waterloo Community Unit School District #5 Superintendent Brian Charron wrote to parents on March 17. “It was an effort to support those students’ comfort, but unfortunately, it resulted in a disruption.”
“The male students planned to use the nurse’s office restroom at the same time, resulting in a line,” he said, saying that students coordinated to use the bathroom at the same time to highlight how the new bathroom policy affected them.
“This line grew dramatically throughout the day with male and female students, filling the hallway and causing students to be tardy to or miss classes. These actions were not the appropriate way to send a message to the School District. We are investigating this behavior as planned harassment of transgender students,” he wrote, the records show.
Some students were already punished by being marked tardy or absent for waiting for the bathroom stall, he wrote. “Students who attempt to repeat today’s actions will be disciplined for attempting to cause a disruption in school,” the letter said.
Days before Charron’s letter, the school board had passed a policy that said transgender students could use the wrong restroom as long as the student developed a “Gender Identity Plan” with school officials.
Caroline Moore, Vice President of Parents Defending Education, said that it’s not “harassment” for students to choose a private restroom.
“Students have every right to push back on school policies that do not align with their belief systems. It is not harassment,” Moore said. “What should be considered school inflicted harassment is allowing students to use locker rooms/bathrooms that do not align with their biological sex and creating situations of potential physical violence and sexual assault on school property.”
Documents produced by Waterloo in response to the public records request also included a training presentation that included a “gender unicorn.” The presentation said that the “schools’ obligations” are to “act in loco parentis,” and “not reveal students’ identities to anyone else (including the students’ families) without students’ permission.”
The training included a copy of something similar to the Gender Identity Plan, a document from the activist group Gender Spectrum called the “Gender Support Plan,” which explains that “school staff, caregivers (if appropriate) and the student should work together to develop the document” on “how the student’s authentic gender will be accounted for and supported at school.”
Gender Spectrum shuttered abruptly last month after the documents it was pushing to schools, which encouraged children to identity as “foxgender” and conspired to help school staff conceal students’ gender transition from parents, gained attention. The group had a lucrative contract with California schools, but yanked its materials off the internet once parents became aware of its agenda, replacing its website with a message that said that, “Gender Spectrum is ceasing all direct service programming as of Wednesday, September 27, 2023.”
Superintendent Charron did not answer a question asking how many students had been disciplined for using the nurse’s bathroom, but told The Daily Wire that its “gender support plan was not devised by Gender Spectrum and the District has no relationship with Gender Spectrum.”
The documents obtained by PDE also showed that the district’s own staff was trying to undermine the part of the policy that required parental sign-off. An English teacher who is sponsor of Waterloo High School’s “Diversity Club” claimed that parental rights were limited to the classroom, not the bathroom — and that school counselors, not parents, should be involved in gender-transitioning minors.
“I think it’s a great idea to have students work with a school social worker/counselor to develop a Gender Identity Plan,” but “as it is written, it creates more problems than it solves by requiring parent involvement,” she wrote March 3, seeking to get the then-draft policy modified.
“I wholeheartedly disagree that the ‘parental involvement’ in a student’s education, as referenced in [a parents’ rights policy], has anything to do with gender identity and bathroom facilities.”
The Diversity Club sponsor is Maggie Partipilo, whose classroom website is inundated with gay paraphernalia.
Waterloo school district said, in a document shared with parents, that lawyers told it that it had no choice but to allow transgender bathroom use because of the Illinois Human Rights Act. That act “seemingly has an exemption for restroom and locker room facilities,” with the law saying that “restrooms, shower rooms… may grant exemptions based on bona fide considerations of public policy,” the document said. However, the Illinois Appellate Court overrode that by saying that sex “cannot be construed to include any requirement based on reproductive organs or anatomy,” it said.
It cited precedent saying that in 2018, the Illinois Human Rights Commission “found Komarek School District 94 liable for committing sexual orientation discrimination” for not letting a nine-year old who said she was transgender use the boys communal restrooms instead of a private one, dismissing concerns about the “comfort level” of other nine-year olds.
In 2019, it “similarly determined that Lake Park CHSD 108 violated the rights of a transgender high school student” by requiring him to change behind a privacy curtain in the locker room.