Pickens County school board no longer allows transgender students to use bathroom of their choice

A Florida federal court ruling about transgender students and restroom facilities had prompted Pickens County schools to allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom they identified with, but that was rescinded after public outcry. The district said it resulted in death threats and vandalism. AJC file photo

Bowing to pressure from parents and residents, the Pickens County Board of Education announced today that it will no longer allow transgender students to use restrooms of their choice.

“There have been many serious safety concerns raised in the past few days. School board members, staff, and students have been threatened due to the administration’s implementation of Adams vs. St. John’s County School District,” the board said, referring to a federal court case in Florida, through a press release.

“There have been death threats, student harassment, and vandalism of school property.”

The decision was made to protect staff and students, the press release said.

The initial decision to let transgender students use the restroom designated for the sex they identified with, not their birth sex, came after the Florida federal court ruling.

In Adams vs. St. John’s County, a transgender student who was relegated to use a gender-neutral bathroom sued for the right to use one that was for the sex they identified as.

The Florida school district has filed an appeal that is set for oral arguments in December before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state of Georgia is part of the 11th Circuit so the ruling will be applicable here as well as in Alabama and Florida.

Pickens County school officials said it will consult with law enforcement and others professionals to address safety concerns.

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