A male P.E. teacher could lose his job at a Florida middle school because he refused administrators’ demands to supervise the showers where a biological girl could be showering with boys, according to a legal group.
The biological girl at Chasco Middle School in Port Richey, Fla., claims to be a transgender boy and was given access by the administration to the boys’ bathroom and locker room “with no forewarning” to the boys or their parents, Liberty Counsel said in a letter to the Pasco County School Board. Liberty Counsel is urging the board to change the policy. The letter was dated Sept. 28 but was released to the public this week.
Both P.E. teachers, Robert Oppedisano and Stephanie Christensen, objected to the biological girl being allowed in the bathroom and locker room without accommodations being made.
“The girl was admitted to the boys locker room for the first time, and walked in, catching boys (literally) with their pants down, causing them embarrassment and concern by the fact that they had been observed changing by an obvious girl,” the letter says.
Boys came out of the locker room to express their concern but were told by Oppedisano and Christensen that nothing could be done. Administrators “had placed a gag order on them, and told them that they could not answer the boys on these questions,” the letter says.
Administrators further demanded that Oppedisano walk into the locker room and supervise the students, “despite a girl potentially being nude or undressed in that area.”
“The administrators told him that the girl in question had ‘every right to use the locker room,’ including the right to disrobe in the open locker area, and shower in its open showers, where Robert is required to periodically walk in and supervise,” the letter says. “Robert will not knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress.”
Oppedisano, the letter says, has been told by administrators “he will be transferred to another school as discipline for ‘not doing your job in the locker room.’”
The school’s policy was adopted without board approval, the letter says.
“No law requires this course of events,” the letter says. “Objective biological sex – male and female – is (and should remain) the determining factor for access to gender-appropriate public school facilities and programs, not subjective mental “identity” claims or beliefs that one is the opposite sex, or a feeling that one is not one’s actual biological sex. The District is violating male students’ and teachers’ rights at Chasco Middle School.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Raul Lazcano/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.