Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Department of Justice (DOJ), coupled with strong support from President Obama, with respect to the rights of transgendered students in public schools, has sparked a political firestorm. Oklahoma lawmakers not pleased with the guidance responded with their own piece of legislation designed to counteract its effect—the “bathroom bill." And, as is frequently the case, schools are caught in the middle.
Senate Bill 1619, mercifully, is dead. No matter your politics on the transgender issue, it is important to realize the potential negative implications that could’ve resulted if the bill had passed.
The general description of the bill appeared to some to be a workable compromise: If a student or student’s parents have a religious objection to the student sharing a restroom or locker room with a transgendered student whose biological gender is opposite that of the student, then the school must make an accommodation for the student with the religious objection.