A fortuitous circumstance, the Tennessee House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee intends to discuss a proposed Transgender Student Bathroom Act on the same day that LGBT activists have coordinated the annual Advancing Equality Day on the Hill.
The proposed bill—which would require students use bathrooms according to the sex listed on their birth certificates, as opposed to their inherent gender identity—assumes that female students, for example, require protection from males who identify as transgender.
“The bill is unenforceable,” the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition told supporters in an email. “We should not make teachers at any level take time away from their busy duties to become glorified bathroom monitors.” In addition, the organization notes that fear mongering and scare tactics are not borne out by evidence.
TTPC has compiled a number of studies that confirm there have been no instances of bathroom harassment caused by transgender students.
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To the contrary, it is transgender students who are in need of protections. According to a 2011 survey of trans people in Tennessee, 91% had been harassed in K-12 schools, 48% experienced physical assault at school, and 17% chose to withdraw from school entirely due to harassment.
Two federal civil cases have ruled that Title IX (which bars discrimination on the basis of sex) is applicable to trans students and, for that reason, TTPC notes that school districts and, in turn, taxpayers would be on the hook for costly court battles should the bill pass.
Graphic via gayrva