Big bucks not for books, but for ‘gender-neutral changing facility’

Michael F. Haverluck,
A school district in Pennsylvania is choosing to pour a large chunk of money not into educational resources or teachers’ salaries, but into a new facility that will comply with the demands of the trans community.

At taxpayers’ expense, Eastern Lancaster County School District is spending $2.4 million to demolish an existing boys’ and girls’ high school locker room complex to build a new multimillion-dollar gender-neutral changing facility for students, with no expenses spared. The new facilities are reportedly replacing existing conventional ones because of a community backlash over a self-proclaimed transgender student using facilities that did not match that individual’s natural sex/gender.

“The Eastern Lancaster County School Board received backlash over the 2018-2019 school year, during which it allowed a transgender boy to use the boys’ restroom, as well as the boys’ locker room during gym class,” WTXF-TV (Fox 29) explained.

Justifying LGBTQ compliance

Glenn Yoder, president of the Eastern Lancaster County School District (ELANCO) Board, claimed the locker room overhaul is not just about one transgender student, but all students, anticipating other school districts will follow suit to cater to transgenders’ lifestyles in the name of “inclusiveness.”

“This is going to be for the good of all students,” Yoder insisted, according to Lancaster online.

“The $2.4 million renovation plan for Garden Spot High School includes the design of four ‘zones’ that will hold a total of 48 private changing rooms and 76 private showers,” WTXF-TV reported. “Because each of the showers will be private, they can also double as changing rooms, making a total of 124 changing rooms under the new plan.”

By virtue of their vote, all board members indicated that addressing LGBTQ issues took priority over most other educational issues on day one by placing the planning of the gender-neutral building above education-based policies.

“Board members unanimously passed policy 253 on Monday night – the first student day of the 2019-2020 school year,” the station informed.

School funds promoting LGBTQ agenda over education

The district is spending two-and-a-half times the amount on the pro-LGBTQ project than it originally anticipated … instead of the funds going directly into instruction and educational resources.

“The design approved Monday was the second iteration of the plan,” Lancaster online notes. “An initial cost estimate was $1 million, but the cost climbed as the district added more plumbing and square footage, [ELANCO Superintendent Bob] Hollister said. It also tacked on a heating and ventilation upgrade.”

Instead of being used for classroom or library improvements or modernizations, special funds will go toward accommodating demands that originated in LGBTQ activism.

“Money from district’s capital reserve fund should cover the cost of the project, Hollister said, [and] the district’s 2019–20 budget shows it had $13.5 million in its capital reserve fund, [and] its total budget was $58.2 million,” Lancaster online noted. “Hollister said he hopes to receive bids for the project in February 2020, start demolition in March and finish construction in December.”

Cost – at taxpayer expense – was evidently not an issue.

“The board insisted that they are intent on going above and beyond providing ‘reasonable accommodations’ and striving to provide students with ‘extraordinary accommodations,'” TheBlaze recounted. “The board added that while the project ‘involves a significant investment,’ it is a ‘worthwhile one that will serve the students, coaches and the school for many years to come.'”

The board made no apologies about bending over backwards to accommodate the LGBTQ community – spurred by one gender-confused female student who wanted to use the boys’ facilities.

“This District policy states that multi-user locker rooms and restrooms will be separated based on biological sex, but the idea behind the policy is much deeper,” the written school board statement reads. “We’ve worked hard to arrive at a solution that balances varied interests – which is why we’re systematically converting multi-user facilities into a series of single-user facilities.”

Implicit in the board’s statement is that a student’s specific sex in the facility is inconsequential. “Starting at the beginning of the school year, there will be 13 single-user restrooms, which will be available to all students for any reason – no special permission required,” WTXF noted.

Even though the entire project was spurred by one transgender student, the board insists it went to great lengths to provide facilities for all the students – despite the fact that heterosexual students had no problems with the existing facilities until their privacy was breached when that student demanded entry into facilities reserved for the opposite sex.

“ELANCO prides itself in not simply providing reasonable accommodations to those who need them, but going above and beyond to provide extraordinary accommodations for all its students,” the board expressed in the statement.

The board impressed that it will do whatever it takes to accommodate the LGBTQ community’s demands while taking the concerns of the rest of the community into consideration, as well.

“To be absolutely clear, we seek to accommodate any student in need of an accommodation because we believe accommodations can help all students to thrive,” the statement continued. “We also want to preserve bodily privacy in spaces that exist to provide privacy from those with the opposite anatomy. Some might say it’s an impossible task to balance all those interests, but it is one we’re working to implement.”

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