Lakota board member proposes transgender bathroom, sports ban

Darbi Boddy called for a vote Monday but was denied
Darbi Boddy
Posted at 12:16 AM, Apr 18, 2023

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A new proposal from a board member for Lakota Local Schools would ban transgender students from playing girls high school sports. Darbi Boddy is also proposing a ban on allowing transgender students to use bathrooms aligning with their gender identity.

"You can't deny biology — a boy is a boy, a girl is a girl, and the boys need to be using their assigned bathrooms as well as the girls," Boddy said after Monday's board meeting.

Boddy called for the board to vote on changing the two policies for transgender students, but the majority of the board decided to hold off and discuss the issues during their May 5 committee meeting.

"I appreciate that there maybe is an interest to circumvent that process, and get people two minutes of fame. I prefer to follow our processes and procedures," said board member Julie Shafer.

At times, Boddy interrupted fellow board members while they were speaking.

"Mrs. Boddy, you don't have the floor, you can't just yell out because you want to like a petulant 2-year-old," said board member Kelley Casper.

Then Boddy tried interrupting again.

"I'm talking, I get a chance to talk," added Casper. "It has nothing to do with agree or disagree about the motion, because quite honestly, there's nothing in this motion that I would agree to. It has more holes than Swiss cheese, but it still has to be dealt with the proper way."

Boddy alleged boys are going into the girls bathrooms and looking under the stalls. Board President Lynda O'Conner responded with "Mrs. Boddy, if those have been brought to your attention I have confidence you will take it to Mr. Vogelmann so it can be addressed."

"(There are) thousands of females that you are not standing up for, and this has to stop. We need a new board right now," Boddy said after the board declined to vote on her proposal.

One person in the crowd yelled back, "Let's start with you," with another person yelling, "Yeah." After that, O'Connor hit the gavel to try and bring the meeting to order.

"We are picking fights about nothing. There's no facts behind it, we're just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks," Landon Meador, a former student, said after the meeting. "We're battling, really, a policy proposal that's not based off fact, it's based off of fear-mongering. And now we started introducing policies to divide us, to send students essentially in different places in the school, we are segregating out vulnerable populations in our schools and that's what's dangerous."

A spokesperson for Lakota schools said there are not currently any openly transgender students participating in athletics at Lakota East or Lakota West.

"With regards to bathrooms, we want all of our students to feel safe and welcome when they walk through our doors," read a statement from the district. "We do not allow boys to use the girls' bathrooms and vice versa. However, our administrators address individual requests by our transgender students and their families on a case-by-case basis. This may involve using the restroom in which they identify or a single user restroom, which we have available in all of our schools. In an effort to make all students feel comfortable, every student is extended this same opportunity."

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