Community meets on Troy transgender policy

Published: Monday, August 31, 2015 @ 10:07 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 @ 3:48 PM


            Community meets on Troy transgender policy

Following the response to the Troy Junior High School transgender student using the boys bathroom, we reached out to area school districts with three questions regarding their policies. Their answers will be updated as we receive them. View school responses »


UPDATE @ 8:55 p.m. (Sept. 1): More than 100 people attended a community meeting at Koinos Christian Church also attended by Troy school board President Doug Trostle and two city council members.

All of council and the mayor, as well as the district superintendent and the school board, had been invited.

Superintendent Eric Herman, hours before the meeting, said he didn’t think he would attend. “I’m not sure it would help,” he said.

Bryan Kemper, a Troy resident and president of Stand True Pro-Life Outreach who organized the meeting, said, “we want to discuss our concerns with each other and with them and give them a chance to respond to us.”

The community meeting was told there would be no public debate, no public forum, only discussion about the school board’s policy regarding the use of restrooms and transgender students.

Nine concerns that meeting organizers said they had heard about the policy were listed. The audience was told that a letter listing concerns and challenging the policy was delivered to school officials earlier in the day by the Alliance Defending Freedom organization.

UPDATE @ 8 a.m. (Sept. 1)

About a dozen people have gathered outside the Troy Board of Education office Tuesday morning in peaceful demonstration both for and against a decision to allow a student who identifies as a male to use the men’s restroom.

UPDATE @ 6:50 p.m. (Aug. 31)

The controversy with Troy City Schools about the use of restrooms prompted the following response from the Ohio School Boards Association:

Sara Clark, director of legal services for the Ohio School Boards Association, said her office has gotten a lot more gender identity questions from school districts recently, citing media attention about the topic.

“I think a lot of (students) who maybe haven’t been comfortable coming out at school or having the conversation with their school district are now having those conversations,” Clark said.

Clark wrote a November article on transgender students that was sent to Ohio school districts by OSBA.

On one side, the article reports, there are no explicit federal legal protections for transgender students, and while more than a dozen states have their own laws offering some protections on the basis of gender identity, Ohio is not one of them.

On the other side, Clark said, the federal departments of education and justice argue that discrimination on the basis of gender identity or transgender status is “based on sex” and therefore in violation of Title IX (as Troy said).

The conflict creates a type of legal limbo that could eventually be decided by a Supreme Court ruling.

FIRST REPORT

The Troy City Schools superintendent said Monday that the district is complying with law in allowing a student who has declared they are of the male gender use the men’s restroom.

The district on Friday afternoon notified parents via a telephone message that denying a student’s request to use a restroom that matches the student’s gender identity is prohibited under federal Title IX.

As a result, the message said, students are allowed to use restrooms that match their gender identity. In addition, parents were notified that restrooms are available in each district building for students or visitors who do not want use the shared restrooms. Questions were referred to the office of Superintendent Eric Herman or any building principal.

Herman said school officials were approached by a student who has declared they are of the male gender and has asked to use the bathroom of that gender.

He said the automated phone message was distributed late on a Friday because that is when information was available to distribute to parents after discussions with legal counsel.

“We are trying to work our way through it the best we can,” Herman said. “My role in this is to comply with the law as superintendent.”

Bryan Kemper of Troy, who said he has six children in district schools, said he was “outraged” by the district’s message. He stood along Market Street near the board of education offices Monday morning with signs, one saying, and “My students deserve privacy/No co-ed bathrooms.”

He said a community meeting for concerned parents would be held Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Koinos Christian Church at 722 Grant St. in Troy. “This will not be a debate or a bash session, we want an honest conversation about something many parents and students are deeply concerned about,” an email about the meeting said.

A parent of one high school student stopped to talk to Kemper as she headed for the board of education and the nearby high school. She said she planned to remove her daughter from the school.

Cincinnati fatal nightclub shooting: At least one Dayton region victim 

Published: Sunday, March 26, 2017 @ 4:41 AM
Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 10:18 AM

CINCINNATI — No arrests have been made after 16 people were shot and one person was killed early Sunday inside the Cameo Night Club.

  • O’Bryan Spikes, 27, was fatally shot
  • Fifteen others were wounded by gunfire; two people were critically injured
  • Two victims may be from Dayton area
  • Multiple shooters are reported to be involved

RELATED: Deadly Cincinnati nightclub shooting: What we know now

UPDATE @10:23 a.m. 

Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac confirmed authorities are searching for more than one suspect. 

“I believe by the number of shots fired there was more than one,” he said.

UPDATE @9:37 a.m. 

One of the Cameo Night Club shooting victims is a Trotwood-Madison High School graduate.

We are working to bring you more information about the shooting victims. 

UPDATE @7:55 a.m.

At least two of the victims in the shooting at the Cameo Night Club are from the Dayton area, according to reports.

Multiple posts on Facebook have called for prayers for two men who live in Trotwood.

We are working to learn more about their conditions. This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

EARLIER

A small memorial has formed outside the Cameo Night Club a day after 16 people, one fatally, were shot early Sunday.

As of early Monday morning, five victims remain at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, including two who are in critical condition and three who are in stable condition. Eight victims had been taken to the hospital following the shooting, and victims with more minor injuries were taken to other hospitals.

Police continue to look for the suspects involved. No arrests have been made.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agencies also are involved in the investigation. Gov. John Kasich, U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, and Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, released statements and offered their offices’ resources to assist the police investigation.

Witness report of the shooting 

A woman on vacation in Cincinnati from Chicago was outside Cameo Nightclub, just feet away from gunfire inside.

“Twelve to 17 shots, sounded like bombs, said Sherell, who declined to give her last name. “It was just so loud.” 

She and her boyfriend were going to leave after he got “a bad feeling,” but their car was blocked in. Her boyfriend was going to go inside to inform a manager, and “that’s when the bullets rang out, and we were standing right there ... I thought I was going to die.”

She said she dove to the ground, with her boyfriend covering her.

“Everybody was running and diving because the shots kept going, they did not stop,” she said.

The victims

Police said the victims were taken to four area hospitals and an investigation into the shooting is ongoing. 

Multiple gunmen were involved in the overnight shooting of 16 people, including one fatally, at the Cameo Night Club, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the emergency dispatch center began receiving calls that people had been shot at the club. Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said a dispute erupted inside the club located at 4601 Kellogg Avenue before shots were fired by multiple suspects.

O’Bryan Spikes, 27, was fatally wounded, according to police. 

Fifteen others were wounded, including at least two people who are in critical condition.

“This is the highest amount of casualties I’ve ever been aware of in a shooting,” said Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Daniel Hils, a lifelong Cincinnati resident who has worked in the law enforcement field for about 30 years.

Eight of the victims were taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Other victims with more minor injuries have been taken to other area hospitals, our news partner WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported.

The incident was not a terror act, but appeared to involve two groups of people, Isaac said.

RELATED: 3 Things to Know about Cameo, site of deadly nightclub shooting in Cincinnati

There were four off-duty officers in the parking lot outside when it happened, Hils said.

“These cops, they did what first-responders do,” he said. “There were shots being fired and people were running from this club in fear and our people ran in.”

Hils described the shooters as “cold-hearted” because of the high probability that innocent bystanders would be hit by gunfire in the crowded club.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Deadly shooting at Cincinnati nightclub

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley asked for prayers for those injured or killed, and said police need the public’s help from the public to solve this crime.

Robert Woods of Fairfield said his daughters have been to the club before, and that he warns his children to stay away from clubs.

“It’s a shame you can’t go out dancing, go out to the club, without there being some trouble,” he said.

Next door to the club at the Hitching Post restaurant, worker Amanda Beck said she was taken aback by news of the fatal shooting.

“In this world we just need to be better people, I think,” she said.

Beck said it is concerning that the suspects are at large, and that at this point police appear to not have names or descriptions of those involved.

“It’s definitely concerning,” she said. “But I know we have great police and everybody’s doing as much as they can so I feel as safe as I possibly can.”

Anyone with additional information on the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040 or police at 513-765-1212.

City to sell old life squad unit to school for $1

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 9:41 AM


            City to sell old life squad unit to school for $1

Franklin City Council recently approved the sale of a 2000 McCoy Miller Life Squad to the Warren County Career Center for $1.

Fire Chief Jonathan Westendorf said the former life squad unit was transferred to the city from JEMS as part of the division of assets when the two entities separated and that the unit has reached the end of its useful life as a transport for the sick and injured.

However, Westendorf said there was a significant opportunity for its use by the Warren County Career Center to help train firefighters and emergency medical technicians in the care, treatment and transportation of patients. He said while classroom simulation is good, the reality of space limitations, movement and other obstacles that are found while working in the back of an ambulance is much better.

Westendorf said selling the squad, which is no longer useful to the city, to WCCC will have a long-term benefit students, patients and the overall community.

Centerville could get 44-unit housing complex

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 9:38 AM


            Centerville could get 44-unit housing complex

Residential developments in Centerville continues to boom, and now another housing community being proposed in the city.

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Preliminary development plans for Savannah Place at Yankee Trace, a proposed housing development on Yankee Street, were submitted to Centerville. The plans are scheduled to be discussed Tuesday at a planning commission meeting.

The community would be south of another development—Common Place at Yankee Trace—and north of the housing community that surrounds the Yankee Trace golf course.

MORE: City approves more than $60M in residential developments

The proposed development would have 44 duplex units, distributed among 22 buildings over 14 acres south of the Commons at Yankee Trace.

Each building will include a one-story unit combined with a two-story unit. Each unit would include a three-car garage, plus two spaces in the driveway.

Significant expansion for Honda supplier in Springfield

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 9:34 AM

Significant expansion for Honda supplier in Springfield

A Japanese auto parts manufacturer will invest $55 million and add 85 jobs at the Champion City Business Park in Springfield, a significant expansion of its original plans for the site.

Topre America first announced in December it would invest $10 million and add 20 jobs to build a Springfield plant to manufacture high-strength steel parts for the Acura MDX.

RELATED: Big economic wins in Clark, Champaign in 2016, but growth lagged in Ohio

Company leaders said Monday they will now make a much bigger investment. Topre will build a 146,000-square-foot facility in the Champion City Business Park, which was once home to an old Navistar factory. The deal announced Monday is contingent on state and local incentives, according to information from the Chamber of Greater Springfield.

“The Springfield community is the perfect strategic location for us to locate and expand our operations,” said Brad pepper, vice president of Topre America. 

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