Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison is not amused at the fact that Wake County School System has been dodging clarifying their locker and bathroom policies.
Recently, Harrison called out the school system on their lack of clarity. Harrison threatened to pull his resource officers out unless the situation was addressed.
According to Harrison, a transgender student who was born a boy was seen coming out of the girl’s locker room at West Millbrook Middle School. Harrison said the principal was OK with it.
“She had allowed this person, male that is transgender, going to be a female, to go in there as long as he did not take off his underwear,” Harrison said.
Harrison said he is not OK with it.
“I asked the parents of the girls in the dressing room, did they know that this has been happening? I have no problem with anything going on, other than the fact when the answer came back no,” he said. “We are not letting anyone know about this.”1
The Wake County Public Schools System does not have a policy for transgender students using restrooms or locker rooms. In a statement, a spokesperson for the school system said in part “it is not considering one at this time due to competing and conflicting court cases.”
The article continues to say that Harrison sent a letter to the school district. A reply was sent by Superintendent Jim Merrill, which said that “bathroom and locker room access was left up to school administrators”.
Over the last year, there have been mixed messages on the subject by the Wake County School Board and the Wake County Schools Communications department.
As I wrote for the Civitas Institute earlier this year, the Wake County School Board had quietly ‘strengthened‘ their policies to, “include a prohibition of any kind of discrimination based on gender identity,”. Yet when I reached out to the Board itself, they refused to comment.
Lisa Luten, Director of Communications for Wake County Schools, said, “We do not keep district records of these requests.”
A number of parents have reached out to this site with anecdotes of their son or daughter being put into a similar situation as that documented by Sheriff Harrison in the WRAL article.
None of the parents wished to go on the record for fear of reprisal either by the school or by LGBT groups associated with the assault on North Carolina over the Charlotte Ordinance and House Bill 2.
What this site can note from interactions with parents is that at least three high schools and one middle school in the Wake County School district are permitting access of a student claiming to be transgender into the facilities of the opposite sex.
Wake county parents deserve answers.
- Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Planning Gender-Neutral Bathrooms
- Charlotte Supt. Clark Halts Moving Forward With Transgender Facilities Policy