Loudon County Public Schools (LCPS) is again making headlines for bad reasons after a Virginia father took the district to task for its $11 million renovation plan for transgender bathrooms.
Michael Rivera, who is both a father and a school board candidate, said that the wasteful spending would not only affect the delivery of education, but also would hurt those students with special needs, Fox News reports.
“This flies in the face of all of the cries from the community,” he told Fox News. “We’re talking about 11 million dollars that are not being directly spent on educating children and, to be honest, it’s quite insulting.”
Rivera previously told local WJLA TV that he’s a detective with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and was educated as an engineer.
He said that he thought parental rights was the top issue with LCPS and that parents in the district had been “demonized” by district authorities.
The renovations pondered by the district would include single-user restrooms that will cater to transgender students, according to Fox News.
WJLA TV News reported previously that the school district is looking at floor to ceiling bathroom stalls, with shared wash basins regardless of gender. The plan would eliminate all gender-segregated bathrooms.
“From what I saw, there were a lot of other issues addressed by having bathrooms that were integrated in hallways and gave complete privacy,” Loudoun County School Board member Atoosa Reaser said at a school board meeting on Mar. 14, according to WJLA.
Previously, the district was in the news because of a series of assaults by a transgender student on a teenaged girl, which a subsequent investigation showed the authorities tried to cover up.
Rivera said that the decision was particularly baffling in light of the assaults.
“Instead of creating a different environment where the girls and the boys could be safer and separated from each other, they’ve actually doubled down and now are bringing those two groups together. All in all, it doesn’t really make any sense in light of what has happened,” he said according to Fox.
Rivera warned that if the program goes through in Loudon County, it could mean hundreds of millions of wasted dollars in public schools around the county.
“The community is clearly outraged,” he said. “We’re talking about several hundred-million dollars if, in fact, this is rolled out through the county.”
The district has said no decisions have been reached yet about the bathrooms.
“LCPS is currently researching those options, as well as others, to determine what works best for the division in order to meet VDOE requirements and balance student and staff safety with privacy,” an LCPS spokesperson told WJLA.