Bethel Local Schools bathroom policy for transgender students causes controversy

MIAMI COUNTY — Bethel Local Schools’ decision to change its bathroom policy to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice is dividing parents — some asking the school to reverse their decision.

At the beginning of the year, the district had adopted the stance that transgender students may use the restrooms that align with their gender status. That was the announcement made at a school board meeting on Monday.

Angil Corey, a grandparent of one of the students, told News Center 7′s Candace Price that her granddaughter has since been pulled out of school, and others could follow.

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Corey said the policy supposedly went into effect Jan. 1, and her family received an email from the school Jan. 5 stating that no parents or students have asked to use a different bathroom.

It also stated, according to Corey, that the district was sticking with students going to bathrooms that aligned with their biological gender.

Superintendent Justin Firks emailed News Center 7 his response to concerns about the decision

“Unfortunately, this is not an issue where personal beliefs of the Superintendent, administration or Board of Education are relevant. The rulings of transgender bathroom issues are of statutory interpretation not whether it is right, wrong, moral or immoral, or a violation of Christian values,” Firks said in the email.

Firks also said that the goal is to provide the safest environment for students and staff while adhering to recommendations made by the federal government.

Firks said he has sought additional input from other legal firms but has received the same response.

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