TROY — Several Troy residents voiced their concerns regarding the transgender bathroom issue at the Troy City Schools board of education meeting Oct. 12.
Pastor David Thomasson, of 691 E. Staunton Road, spoke to the board first about the moral impact of permitting transgender students to use the bathrooms which fit their gender identities.
His concern was the will of the majority of community members — whom he said were opposed to the decision — was being ignored.
“With this decision, what else can happen?” he asked. “I feel that this will lead to an opening of Pandora’s box.”
Brad Klepacz of 505 Mumford Drive spoke afterward. Identifying himself as an assistant football coach for Troy schools, he voiced his opposition to the decision from a moral standpoint and asked if there would be backlash for those who disagree with the decision.
“I don’t agree with this, so I want to know: am I going to be discriminated against because of my beliefs?” he asked.
Board of Education President Doug Trostle answered the questions, reiterating that the school’s focus is on doing what is right, legally defensible and in the best interests of all students.
“It’s a matter of privacy,” he said. “We have a responsibility to protect the privacy of our students. If any of our students want to, they can use the private bathrooms. We cannot tell a student that they cannot use the restroom of the gender that they identify with.”
Trostle added the issue will continue to be worked on as need be.
In other business, the board approved reimbursement in lieu of transportation for a student living in Troy attending St. Christopher Catholic School in Vandalia.
Treasurer Jeff Price said the State of Ohio reimburses the school board for sending a check to the family, and the cost is $250 per year for a student.
The board also listened to Jerry Dirr of SHP Leading Design, who was contacted to put together a comprehensive assessment for the district’s buildings to gather data and make some long term building decisions that are financially smart.
Dirr explained how certain parts of schools may need some more work, while other parts likely would not need a lot.
“The good news is that the buildings are in good condition,” he said. “The bad news is that the buildings are in good condition.”
The assessment is not finalized as Dirr still needs to add information.
Superintendent Eric Herman reminded parents about weather delays or cancellations and child care arrangements when two-hour delays or closings happen.
“We start looking at the roadways at 5 a.m. with a decision no later than 6 a.m.,” he said. “Once a decision is made to delay or cancel it is put on the web site first and then sent to all the local TV stations.”
Reach Allison C. Gallagher at [email protected] or on Twitter @Troydailynews.