ASD superintendent addresses Proposition One

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Responding to question from parents and students, Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop addressed Proposition One during the Anchorage school board meeting Tuesday night.

Proposition One would change city code to require facilities like locker rooms, showers, changing rooms and bathrooms within municipal buildings to be designated for people of the same sex, which in this instance would be the persons gender at birth. Backers of the proposal say it would also give private businesses and faith based groups, such as churches and ministries, the freedom to operate according to their convictions and segregate intimate spaces based on biological sex as determined at birth.

Superintendent Bishop said current policies within the Anchorage School District for transgender students have worked and they have not had any problems in the past.

"We do have transgender policies, which isn't only for restroom use. It's about much more. And certainly as a school district, if the community passes any kind of regulation or statute law, we are going to follow it," said Bishop.

Bishop said bathroom policies for transgender students are determined based on the individual's needs on the school level with the student and their family. She also said the schools would have no way to enforce a law requiring students to use the bathroom of the sex they were assigned at birth.

Cole Lockard, a transgender student at East High School, said he has never had a problem using the bathroom his gender identity matches with. "It would feel wrong for me to be in a gendered bathroom that did not correspond with my gender. Because I am a man and being in the women's bathroom doesn't make sense for me or any other man," said Lockard.

Kim Minnery, a Proposition One advocate, says that everyone should have the right to privacy and not be held to the current open bathroom policy.

"Parents, businesses and nonprofits and anybody who is in Anchorage should have the right to decide for themselves who the bathrooms and locker rooms are going to be handled," said Minnery.

The proposition is one of 12 to appear on the 2018 Anchorage municipal ballot. The municipal election is a vote by mail election, the last day for the mail-in election is April 3rd.

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