Mat-Su schools suspends gender-bending bathroom policy, and it may lose federal funds as a result

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What the federal government gives, the federal government may take away, if local schools don’t allow boys to use girls; bathrooms.

Anticipating such a result, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School Board has suspended the bathroom policy that allowed students to use whatever bathroom they felt comfortable in, regardless of gender.

Instead, students will use bathrooms that comport with their biological, not preferred gender identity — at least for now. Board member Dwight Probasco was the only no vote last week, while board members Tom Bergey, Jim Hart, Ole Larson, Jubilee Underwood, and Jeff Taylor all voted in favor of returning to the prior bathroom and locker policy until the board’s policy committee can review the district policy.

The ultimate decision to keep bathrooms separate by gender may cost the school district its federal funding, since the Biden Administration is interpreting Title IX rules as requiring transgender students into intimate spaces previous reserved for the opposite gender. Title IX is law established in 1972 that prohibits gender discrimination in schools or education programs that receive federal funding.

The issue was on the agenda last week after the policy committee recommended that the district suspend it and go back to the prior policy; recently a boy who prefers to use the girls’ facilities has been doing so, causing parents and students to object to the relatively new policy that allowed it.

“That Court action affords the Committee an opportunity to review its current policies regarding such matters, and for the District’s administration to review its guidelines regarding student use of communal bathrooms/locker rooms that match their gender identity. The Committee believes that the District’s Guidelines should be placed on hold pending such reviews,” according to the policy committee.

According to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, as a condition of receiving federal funds, schools must agree to “not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex any person in its educational programs or activities unless expressly authorized to do so under Title IX or its implementing regulations. The Departments treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of Title IX and its implementing regulations. This means that a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity. The Departments’ interpretation is consistent with courts’ and other agencies’ interpretations of Federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination.”

The federal guidance continues: “The Departments interpret Title IX to require that when a student or the student’s parent or guardian, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity. Under Title IX, there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity.6 Because transgender students often are unable to obtain identification documents that reflect their gender identity (e.g., due to restrictions imposed by state or local law in their place of birth or residence),7 requiring students to produce such identification documents in order to treat them consistent with their gender identity may violate Title IX when doing so has the practical effect of limiting or denying students equal access to an educational program or activity.”

Further, the federal government says that schools must allow students this access “even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns. As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.” In other words, in any circumstance, the schools are required to allow boys to use girls’ bathrooms.

The federal guidance is at this link.

That guidance was issued in 2016, but was not applied uniformly during the Trump Administration. The Biden Administration, however, says it will withhold public funds from schools that do not allow gender mixing in bathrooms and locker rooms.

The school board meeting room was packed during last week’s meeting with parents and concerned citizens, may of whom testified in favor of returning to gender-specific facilities. There were no testifiers who rose to support the cross-over bathroom policy, which had been in place since 2015.

In coming days, the policy committee is expected to bring a new recommendation before the school board for consideration.

18 COMMENTS

    • Thank you…I did not have to say it. The best thing we could do for the education of children is end the Department of Education and completely remove the Feds from the picture.

  1. Good, everyone should follow suit and quit sucking on the teet that is federal funding. I hope this sticks, thank you for taking a stand!

  2. Congratulations on your integrity Mat-su. I am proud and thankful for you. All Alaska must follow your lead to protect obviously their kiddos.

  3. This is why a conservative/libertarian ‘live and let live’ attitude often fails in the end. We fear using government as a weapon – because it ‘might be turned against us’. Sorry – that cow has escaped the barn long ago.

    If the left prevails, conservative ‘red’ states get to choose between losing control of policy – or losing access to our own federal tax dollars. Tax dollars that will then be redistributed to compliant and/or enthusiastic states. When conservatives prevail, federalism prevails – and each state gets to enact its own preferences and retain access to federal money.

    Net result is places like California and Washington state win either way, but ‘red’ states often lose when Democrats turn the federal government against us.

    Its far past time the right wing learns to use federal government power to return the favor. “Heads I win, tails you lose” libertarian policy for cesspools like California need to stop.

    • If the feds do withhold those school funds to the Mat-Su, then Mat-Su officials should take the next logical step, and officially encourage all Mat-Su taxpayers to stop paying taxes to the federal government and to its bulldog rogue IRS strongarm mafia, unless and until those funds are restored. Tit for tat.

  4. This EO is not about protecting trangenders from discrimination, bullying, emotional harm.
    .
    This requirement is about destroying conventional norms. It is about removing conventional relationships, and replacing it with one primary and all consuming relationship. That with the all powerful State.
    .
    Boys and girls cannot be allowed to be boys and girls. Because that might lead to dating, relationships, family. And a strong two parent family is the biggest hurdle to an all powerful State. And, leftists cannot allow that.

  5. Why are people still sending their children to public schools?
    What exactly are our children learning there that’s usable?
    Math,reading,writing,art music history, general health is all they need.
    Than send them to a trade-school (Tech-High in Wasilla), to learn usable life skills.
    Our children are leaving high school dumber than when they went in.
    As far a federal money show them 2 1 2 and tell them to fly away.

  6. I’m not old enough to remember first hand the reactionary outrage when the federal government desegregated public schools, but if the internet had existed, I can only assume the comments on the news stories of the time would look much like the contemporary hysteria we see today over trans and non-binary kids. Some people don’t get it so they castigate it.

    And to clarify a point the article mistakes, boys are not allowed to just use the girls bathroom because they suddenly want to. As quoted in the article about Title IX: “…when a student or the student’s parent or guardian, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity.” So, schools are required to accept formally asserted preference–this does not mean a random teenage boy can just walk into the girls bathroom. But please, keep the hysteria up, it’s making some folks lots of money.

    • Your insane and evil denial of biological reality is simply in line with the radical leftist extremist denial of reality in general. Your is a not only a(n insidious) political movement, it is a religious cult, which fundamentally worships death.

    • Huh, preferring the policies of only 10-20 years ago is now ‘hysterical’ and ‘reactionary’. Left wingers really have gone completely off the deep end.

      Its simple.
      Don’t care if you cross-dress, take hormones, have surgery done, or ‘assert’ a gender.
      You get the bathroom that was decided for you at conception.
      You get the sports team that was decided for you at conception.
      You get the public ridicule you deserve for turning yourself into circus freak.
      You will never be a woman.

      Not interested in punishing normal schoolkids by forcing them to walk on eggshells and play insipid pronoun word games in class. Especially not on account of a few confused weirdos haven’t been bullied enough and want to force everyone else pretend they are special.

      Title IX, as law, was written decades ago – this nonsense is simply a ‘clever’ bureaucratic re-interpretation forced on us by Obama and ACLU lawyers. Effectively regulatory agitprop that it can easily be ‘reinterpreted’ right back with the right people in office.

  7. It is dangerous when institutions take the lead in bullying young females in public bathrooms. Mere civility and gentlemanliness should supercede bullies. Thanks.

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