The debate over transgender students and bathrooms has proven fodder for politicians—many of them conservative—running in this year’s election. A state attorney candidate in Jacksonville is throwing himself into the center of the conflict.
Duval County Schools announced last week it would follow federal guidelines allowing students to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity. They’ve actually had an equity policy in place since 2012. It doesn't refer to restrooms explicitly, but does guarantee access to all services regardless of gender identity.
But after the announcement a family quickly filed suit with Republican Wes White handling their case. He says his state attorney bid did play a role in the decision.
“What I’m trying to demonstrate to people is that people in power when they see something that’s wrong they have got to respond to it,” White explains, “and they simply can’t for one reason or another look the other way or do something that’s politically expedient.”
White seems OK with trans students using the restroom of their gender identity if it doesn’t cause problems with other students, but he opposes a district-wide policy. The case has been filed in Duval County circuit court.
5/20/16 9:30 am Clarification: an earlier version of this story didn't note Duval County School's pre-existing equity policy.