Troy, Ohio parents divided over school district's new gay, transgender restroom use policy

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A decision by school officials in Troy, Ohio has parents divided.

The district superintendent has ordered every school in the district to designate a gender neutral restroom for gay and transgender students.

Parents across Troy heard one message. It was Superintendent Eric Herman telling them every Troy school will have a gender neutral restroom, which only one person can use at a time. Transgender students can also use restrooms that match their gender identity. For example, a student born male who identifies as female can now use the girls bathroom.

"How was this decision made? And did it have to go through the Board of Education here?" Herman asked. "The decision basically went with legal counsel talking about what the law is and where other people have been on this and we made the decision from there."

He says he has 4,600 students to educate and care about, and every student, regardless of their gender identity, must be protected. The Title IX law demands it.

Some parents support the bathrooms, but others are outraged.

"My oldest son is in kindergarten right now and I do not think it's a good idea for them to share bathrooms," said Tonya Morgan, a Troy resident.

"I believe it's a good thing," said Alisha Borgerding of Troy. "I think children need to feel safe and secure and be able to be who they are even when coming and using the restrooms."

"If my daughter was going into the guys bathroom, I wouldn't be all right with it," said Sean Call, a West Milton resident. "Something could happen to 'em. You never know."

Some parents said they plan to challenge the decision.

"Is this a permanent decision? I don't know," Herman said. "I think this is part of federal law, so I would contact the people that make the laws and make these decisions and have that type of dialogue. If you had not had a student that identified this way, is this a change that would have been implemented in Troy schools? We hadn't talked about it so I don't know if we would have, but because we do have students, it's an area we need to deal with, so we are."