Biologically opposite sexes identifying as the same gender will now be allowed to share school bathrooms, locker rooms, and overnight sleeping accommodations due to a 2-1 vote by the Board of Trustees adopting Gender Inclusion Policy 502.12 into BCSD District Policy and Procedures. Trustees Cami Bustos and Rob Clayton voted in favor of adoption while Chairman of the Board Shawn Bennion voted against. Vice Chair Elizabeth Corker was away and unable to attend via phone as had been planned. There are currently only four trustees as the seat for Zone 3 is vacant.
The policy has admirable goals. “The purpose of this policy is to facilitate compliance with applicable laws and organizational guidelines as well as to foster an educational environment in the Blaine County School District that is safe, supportive, and fully inclusive for all students, regardless of gender identity or gender expression.” Several people spoke in favor of adopting the policy, including a former student who outlined the difficulties of being transgender in a binary gender environment. Many others expressed concern that the policy as presently written would not meet the stated goals, would introduce new risks to the entire student population, and would expose the School District to the possibility of lawsuit. They asked the board to take more time to consider the ramifications of this policy and the fact that it is “doing something that has never been done,” according to Trustee Clayton during the Board discussion. Although all the trustees present expressed concern for the nature, gravity, and importance of the policy, and made comments that possibly more time for consideration was merited, the policy was adopted in a 2-1 vote later in the meeting.