Community meets on Troy transgender policy

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


            Local schools weigh in on restroom controversy 

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.

Oakwood business district to be disrupted by timber wall repairs

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 2:32 PM


            The area around Shops of Oakwood on Far Hills Avenue will receive repairs to the timber wall. Work will continue for two to three months. CHRIS STEWARD/STAFF
            Chris Stewart

The city of Oakwood will soon begin repairs to rehab the timber wall in the Far Hills Business District, according to a release by Assistant City Manager Jay Weiskiercher.

The work includes replacing rotted or warped wood, sanding the wall as necessary and applying fresh coats of paint. Crews will be working on one block at a time, and traffic on the adjacent cruise lane will be maintained.

MORE: Oakwood receives state financial award

During the repairs, there will be brief periods when parking near the wall is restricted. Crews will begin work at the southeast corner of the district and proceed north before crossing over to the west side of Far Hills and working south.

The project should be completed by late August or early September. For more information, contact Weiskiercher at 937-294-0411.

FOLLOW: Tre Hogue on Facebook and Twitter

High school referee, ex-con accused of raping juvenile in Troy

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

A Troy man accused of raping a juvenile is no longer eligible to officiate after the Ohio High School Athletic Association suspended his license after his arrest earlier this month, an OHSAA spokesman said Tuesday. 

Henry Lucas Jr., 52, was arrested June 5 after he turned himself in to Troy police, according to an affidavit filed in Miami County Municipal Court. Lucas is charged with a felony count of rape, and he made an initial appearance in court June 6, where his bond was set at $400,000, according to court records. The victim is known to Lucas. 

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Lucas’ license was previously suspended in 2011 after he was convicted on a felony drug charge and sentenced to prison in September 2010, the OHSAA said. 

The OHSAA initially approved Lucas’ officiating license in 2001, and he was listed as having an active license until Aug. 1, 2011, when the athletic association first suspended it, said Ben Ferree, assistant director of officiating and sport management for OHSAA. 

“We do not believe he was officiating after his September 2010 conviction,” Ferree said. 

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On Sept. 2, 2010, Lucas was convicted for using deception to obtain an illegal drug and was sentenced to a year in the London Correctional Institution, according to court records. 

Lucas was released from prison on Aug. 26, 2011, according to a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. 

Ferree said Lucas, who officiated football and basketball, appealed the suspension of his license following his drug conviction. 

According to the OHSAA handbook for officials, an officiating permit will not be issued or reinstated for anyone convicted in regard to any felony offense unless/until such offense has been reversed by proper authority. 

Ferree said, “People with convictions on their record that would be denied per the Handbook can appeal to obtain a license.” 

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Lucas’ permit was reinstated in October 2012 based on an appeal to the OHSAA board of directors, Ferree said. “The board approved his appeal based on multiple letters of recommendation from school personnel and community members in the Dayton area.” 

This news organization inquired about the letters of recommendations OHSAA said they received, however, Ferree said, “I do not have copies in his file.” OHSAA also said they don’t share personnel files of officials. 

“Additionally, everyone in the officiating department from that time has since retired. Since 2012 we have a new Director of Officiating, and all new support staff for that department. We do not know where the letters came from as we have never seen them personally,” Ferree said in an email to reporter Sean Cudahy. 

Lucas waived a preliminary hearing in his felony rape case on June 17, and his case is pending a decision from a Miami County Grand Jury, according to court records. 

The 52-year-old remained in the Miami County Jail Tuesday morning on a $400,000 bond. 

A call to his lawyer seeking comments has not been returned.

Deputies investigate robbery at Rite Aid in Harrison Twp. 

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:16 PM

Deputies are investigating a robbery that occurred at the Rite Aid on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp. 

>> Read the latest local stories in the Miami Valley 

Dispatchers said deputies responded to the business at 3875 Salem Avenue around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on reports of a robbery. 

It was not immediately known if a weapon was displayed. 

Additional details were not available. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

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Former church music director booked in jail on sex charges

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 1:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

UPDATE @ 1:34 p.m. (June 27):

A Dayton man and former Beavercreek church music director is now in jail after he was taken into custody this morning, according to jail records.

John Slate, 48, has a bond listed at $50,000, according to jail records.

Slate is charged with sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, according to the indictment filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court

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UPDATE @ 9:55 p.m.

A Dayton man and former Beavercreek church music director indicted on several sex charges involving a minor is no longer a member of No Promises Vocal Band.

Although 48-year-old John Slate earlier was listed on the Cincinnati-based professional a cappella ensemble’s Facebook page, band leader Joshua Steele said Slate’s participation ended in February. Slate also is no longer listed as a group member on the ensemble’s website.

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UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m.:

The Dayton man indicted on several sex charges involving a minor was a former music director at a Beavercreek church, according to the church’s Facebook page.

John Slate, 48, has been indicted for sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, according to the indictment filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Thursday.

According to prosecutors, “The defendant and the victim met while the defendant was the music director at a church, and the victim was taking voice lessons from the defendant,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said in a release. 

Slate was listed as a former music director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, according to a post on the church’s Facebook page.

Prosecutors have not said if the Beavercreek church is the one mentioned in their  statement.

Slate is a member of the No Promises Vocal Band, according to the group’s Facebook page.

Slate’s accuser, now 19, reported the offense to West Carrollton police. She said a sexual relationship began when she was 15. 

Slate has a warrant his arrest and is due in court July 6 for arraignment.

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.

John R. Slate, indicted for sexual battery of a child, is a former church music director, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office. 

Slate is accused of “having a sexual relationship with a minor over a number of years,” said Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. in a release.

The female victim, now age 19, reported the offense to West Carrollton Police, stating the sexual relationship started when she was 15. 

“The defendant and the victim met while the defendant was the music director at a church, and the victim was taking voice lessons from the defendant,” Heck said in a release. 

FIRST REPORT

A Dayton man has been indicted on child sex charges, according to court records.

John R. Slate, 48, of Dayton, is charged with sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, court records confirmed.

Slate is not in custody but a warrant on indictment has been issued. Slate has an arraignment date of July 6 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

The exact circumstances for the charges are not immediately known, but we are working to gather additional information to update this report.