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Pennridge School Board Votes to End Sex-Based Bathroom Policy

Despite an outpouring of objections from parents, the Pennridge School Board voted 5-4 along party lines to disband the district’s single-sex restroom policy at a contentious meeting Monday.

The change will take effect Aug. 1.

Officials blamed the Biden administration, claiming its changes to federal Title IX rules don’t allow schools to keep biological males out of girls’ bathrooms.

“The recent updates to federal Title IX regulations prompt us to reevaluate our approach to handling these matters,” said Superintendent Angelo Berrios.

It’s a claim that confirms criticism of the Biden Education Department’s actions from states like Ohio, Texas, and Virginia that are suing the administration to block the new rules.

Local parents upset by the rules change see partisan politics behind the move. Last year, Democrats took control of the school board.

Monday evening, parent after parent urged the board not to change the restroom policy.

Matt Carbonara of Perkasie said, “There is a reason why the same leftists who want all bathrooms [to be] gender neutral are asking for the administration to handle this. You’re trying to pull one over at Pennridge, sneaking in extreme use in the backdoor. If you remove the current policy, you’re catering to a far-left small minority in the community. This will be the tip of he iceberg. What’s next? Gender-neutral sports? Bringing back inappropriate library books? Pulling CRT back into the classrooms? And ultimately, the dream of DEI.”

East Rockhill resident Jean D’Angelo said the change would be “a big mistake.”

“This board ran on transparency. There seems to be so much uncertainty…bathrooms are going to be a breeding ground for sexual acts and much, much more. There will be no way of policing who goes into the bathrooms. This is going to turn into a free-for-all all that will endanger the safety and privacy of all our children.”

“All this is clearly a political stunt at the expense of our children,” she said.

“It’s humiliating to come to you on bended knee and ask you to please, please not put my family in jeopardy,” said Magie Connolly of Perkasie. “Please don’t expose my kids to destructive ideas…Please don’t talk to my son about weird sex stuff. Please don’t put teachers I don’t know and do not trust in a position to talk to my children about what sex or gender they feel like that day…Please don’t trans my kids.”

Richard Brynes said the changes “would be a huge mistake and a lack of knowledge in current trends of gender dysphoria…first step in gender-affirming care” and “encouraging kids to jump on the transgender highway.”

The board is “driven by a political agenda and malicious ideology. Neither of those have a place in the management of our school system,” he said.

Emily Gieb said, “We will take our kids to cyber charter schools and take our tax dollars with us.”

John King said, “Kids don’t care about sharing bathrooms with transgender sexed kids or intersex kids. They just want to be at peace.”

Kim Bedillion of Perkasie asked, “What is at issue is what constitutes a reasonable accommodation? …What is decided tonight may bring harm to a great many students…When belief and reality do not align, adults affirm reality… If you create bathrooms based on a theory and not objective reality you are de facto affirming to the entire school population that a child can be something other than what reality dictates, and that harms all students…The current sex-based policy aligns with reality…I ask that you keep the policy as written.”

Berrios said the administration supports retiring Policy 720 for “the best interests of students and families.” He claimed it has “listened carefully” to the parents and community members’ remarks. What the administration proposes will “respect the dignity and rights of all students.”

The new policy for the high school, which was then approved by the board, would have restrooms for faculty and staff, multi-user male, multi-user female, single occupancy, gender identity male, and gender identity female restrooms. There will be no changes to locker rooms, he said.

The board will take up the middle and elementary school policies later.


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