School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor

Transgender Restroom Debate Draws Readers’ Reactions

July 19, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I have been a teacher or administrator in public and higher education for 53 years. As I retire from my current position as the dean of the college of education at the University of North Texas, I have a few (admittedly biased) observations about the role of government in education.

For one, both federal and state governments have taken an increasingly directive role over this time period in how education should be done, rather than just providing funding for education. Currently, the big topic they are addressing is who should use which bathroom—what a trivial topic and one that is being handled well by the schools themselves without government intervention (“Transgender Debate: What’s Next?”).

Educators and educational leaders are well prepared to run schools; many have spent years in the learning and practice of those skills. For goodness’ sake, leave them alone, and let them do it.

Jerry R. Thomas

Dean and Professor

College of Education

University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

To the Editor:

One simple solution to the bathroom wars is to make more single-occupancy bathrooms. We had one bathroom at home when I was a child. It was used by everyone. Later, we added another bathroom. Both were single-occupancy and open to anyone. It is a simple solution and probably much cheaper than all the arguing and posturing over the matter.

Single-occupancy bathrooms would also help with other problems, such as bullying in the bathrooms or smoking in the bathrooms. Multiple-occupancy bathrooms have sometimes provided supervision-free zones, and that can lead to problems.

No new technology is needed, just a few smoke detectors.

Herbert de Launay

Natchitoches, La.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 20, 2016 edition of Education Week as Transgender Restroom Debate Draws Readers’ Reactions


Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety What the Research Says Bullying Dropped as Students Spent Less Time in In-Person Classes During Pandemic
Researchers based their findings on an analysis of internet searches on online and school-based harassment.
5 min read
Cyber bullying concept. Paper cut Woman head silhouette with bullying messages like disgusting, OMG!!, loser, hate, ugly, and stupid.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School Climate & Safety Interactive School Shootings This Year: How Many and Where
Education Week is tracking K-12 school shootings in 2022. See the number of incidents and where they occurred in our map and data table.
2 min read
Sign indicating school zone.
School Climate & Safety Infographic School Shootings in 2021: 4 Takeaways, in Charts
In 2021, there were 34 school shootings that hurt or killed people, the most since 2018. Here's what we know about school shootings this year.
Illustration of a gun and a school in the background.
iStock/Getty collage
School Climate & Safety Opinion Assessing Shooting Threats Is a Matter of Life or Death. Why Aren't Experts Better at It?
To take the right actions before the next tragedy occurs, schools need all the help they can get, write three experts.
David Riedman, Jillian Peterson & James Densley
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of young person in crisis