Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

Will the Obama administration allow a transgender-bathroom compromise?


We have a local test case in the bathroom wars, and the reaction from the aggressors will be telling.

The "guidance" on transgender students' bathroom choices issued by the Obama administration on Friday is an unenforceable torching of the separation of powers that is best understood as an election-year ploy, a wedge issue to drive turnout of a Democratic base that's moved to the left faster than Hillary Clinton anticipated. One of the many reasons this is particularly irresponsible is that it places local education officials in the hopeless position of trying to please two implacable constituencies. So much for just letting teachers do their jobs.

Georgia's largest school district, Gwinnett County, has set its course for navigating these possibly unnavigable waters. The district's entire statement is worth reading, including the correct observation that either Congress or the courts will have to act before this issue is actually resolved. But here's the operative part:

"We believe our current practice is reasonable, logical, and workable, and therefore, it should not be uprooted by what we consider an overreach by two federal agencies. After carefully considering the issue, GCPS will continue to provide students with sex-designated restroom facilities, while offering gender-neutral facilities to any student who does not wish to use the restroom facility designated for his or her biological sex."

The only people who should object to that policy are interested in scoring points. There is an option to suit everyone's comfort level. There's no coercion. At least, there's no coercion by the school system; will there be coercion by the Obama administration?

If there is -- not that any court should uphold a withholding of duly appropriated funds -- it will simply be to push the most politically aggressive stance possible. It won't be to serve the best interests of students, transgender or not. It will be, like so much else that's wrong with education, to push the agendas of some adults.


Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.