MANCHESTER, N.H. – Echoes of last week’s controversial school board meeting in Milford made its way to the public comment section of Monday night’s Board of School Committee (BOSC) meeting, as three members of the public referenced Milford in attacks on the Manchester School District’s policies regarding support of transgender students.
In Milford, controversy over their policy regarding transgender students became so heated at the last school board meeting that a proposal to remove all urinals and have students of both genders use only stalls for bathrooms and locker rooms was proposed.
That idea was not discussed by the Board of School Committee on Monday, and other comments in the past from members of the public believing that students should only be identified by their biological gender at birth have been dismissed, with the board firmly supporting its transgender anti-discrimination policy since its inception as an important part of the Manchester School District’s focus on equity.
The three women speaking against the district’s transgender student policy on Monday felt that the approach violated parental rights and endangered biologically female students by immature male students who pose as transgender students in order to engage in inappropriate sexual behavior.
There were also concerns from one of the women perceiving that she was somehow dangerous for opposing what she referred to as “woke ideologies,” saying being perceived as dangerous violated her first amendment rights.
Bryce Kaw-uh was the only member of the public that spoke in favor of those policies during Monday’s public comment period, and only did so after hearing the earlier comments from the women, stating that members of the LGBTQ community had a behavioral problem just for being who they are.
He added that members of world’s LGBTQ community finally arising from the fear of persecution they have dealt with in the past.
Members of the board were not supportive of the women’s comments, with the strongest criticism coming from Ward 7 BOSC Member Chris Potter.
Potter echoed a comment from Kaw-uh that the school district has enough real issues to deal with without making the marginalization of transgender students one of them.
He went on to say that he was offended by the use of the first amendment in what he saw as an attempt to traumatize transgender students and was also offended by the use of a particular Bible quote by one of the women.
“Not all Christians are bigots. If someone is experiencing trauma, they are welcome to go to another church, but it does not mean that God hates them,” he said.
Ward 8 BOSC Member Peter Perich asked if individual “free zone” unisex bathrooms still existed in Manchester Schools. Manchester School District Superintendent Dr. Jen Gillis said they did and that the district monitored their usage and traffic patterns around bathrooms closely.