From: Marlo Mack
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2017 10:11 AM
To: Principal F.
Subject: Initiative 1552
Dear Principal F.,
I’ve been meaning to get in touch for a while to check in about Initiative 1552, the latest “bathroom bill” that is currently in the signature-gathering phase. I’ve heard it is likely to get enough signatures to get on the ballot this fall. I’d like to think that Washington State voters would easily reject such a law, but I never thought Donald Trump would get elected to the presidency, so I’m trying to brace myself for the worst.
Were Initiative 1552 to pass, M. would be prohibited from using the girls’ bathroom at school and would instead be required by law to use the boys’ bathroom or a separate bathroom, such as the nurse’s bathroom or a staff bathroom. Using the boys’ bathroom is obviously out of the question, and I feel strongly that it is equally unthinkable to segregate my daughter by requiring her to use a different facility from every other child at school. Doing so would not only cause her to feel singled out and punished, it would also certainly draw attention to her, very possibly leading to her being outed as transgender to the other children. (Note from gendermom: My daughter is very private about being trans, and has only told a handful of her closest friends at school, for fear of being teased and bullied if more kids find out.)
As I’m sure you know, the initiative would put schools in a tricky position. If a parent learned that their child had been in the girls’ restroom with a transgender girl, that parent could sue the school.
What I’m looking for is some sense from you as to what the school would do if 1552 were to become state law this fall. Would M. still be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom? If a parent complained and sued the school, how would this affect M.? Since quite a few children (and their parents) now know that M. is transgender, it’s certainly possible that a parent could find out and decide to take action.
I also need you to know that I am completely opposed to M. being asked to use an alternative bathroom, even for a limited time. If this were asked of her, I would not feel comfortable sending her to school and would have to make alternative arrangements for her. As the end of the school year draws near, this is weighing on my mind more and more, so I thought I would ask, in hopes of getting some reassurances from you.
I am so grateful for all the support the school has given us, and I’m sure we can face this next challenge together, as well. Thank you for working with us and learning with us.
A week later, I got a response from Principal F., expressing a commitment to keeping my child safe at school and the school district’s commitment to supporting its transgender students.
This is all good, of course, but doesn’t really answer my question: Will my daughter be kicked out of the girls’ bathroom if this heinous law passes?
The reply: The district was consulting its legal team. “We are in conversation about the ‘what if’s,’ but details are not yet clear.”
I continue to hold my breath.
Anyone have advice on homeschooling?