Opinion
School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor

Transgender Restroom Debate Draws Readers’ Reactions

July 19, 2016 1 min read

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.

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

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