Ohio high school students walked out of class last week to protest a school’s new transgender bathroom policy.
The policy at Elida High School allows transgender and non-binary students to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity regardless of their biological sex.
“We’re upset about biological boys in the girls’ bathroom,” said Charisma Akroye, a freshman who walked out in protest, according to Fox News. “The school board hasn’t been listening.”
Since April’s board meeting, parents, students and community members also have expressed discontent with the school board’s decision.
“I’d like to tell you a little story, quick, to the 16-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by a boy in her school,” Emily Leimeister declared during the meeting. “Now, imagine that girl terrified and traumatized, as she was, walking into a bathroom and seeing a male, regardless if they had any intent or not, but a male in her bathroom. What about her accommodations?”
School Board President Brenda Stocker defended the policy, citing the need to comply with federal case law to avoid potential lawsuits, according to Fox News.
However, school board candidate Jeff Point argued the policy actually invites lawsuits.
“We can have a lawsuit from a transgender student, or we can have lawsuits from Christian parents who have had enough of their child having to hold their bowels and not go to the restroom because they’re afraid of what they’re going to see,” Point said.
Around Ohio students are walking out in opposition to policies allowing biological boys in girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. Earlier this month, high school students in Loudoun County staged a walkout in hopes of changing such a policy.
In 2021, a student there was sexually assaulted in the girls’ school bathroom. The district is being sued for covering up the allegations.
Students from Pleasant Valley High School in California walked out of class in May to protest a state law that allows men in women’s spaces. Prior to the walkout, students claimed males were entering the females’ bathrooms and watching the girls as they changed.
In September, hundreds of Pennsylvania students walked out after a school board rejected a proposal to prohibit boys from using the girls’ facilities.
“There needs to be some changes,” student Victoria Rudolph said. “It’s just uncomfortable seeing 19-year-old men or 18-year-old men in the bathroom.”