Politics

Male Teacher Faces Discipline

Jazz Jennings 2016
Locker Room
Locker Room
Lockers in the men's locker room at an old mechanical workshop in Gåseberg, Lysekil Municipality, Sweden. | Photo: James Faddis | Hazing, Players, Coach, School, Locker Room,

For Refusing To Watch Girl Undress In Boys Locker Room

A male P.E. teacher from Chasco Middle School has come under fire and has been threatened with being removed from his job and transferred after refusing to observe a transgender student changing in the boys' locker room.
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This came after a biological girl from Chasco Middle School in Port Richey, Florida came out as a self-identifying male. She was then given immediate access to the boys locker room without any warning to the boys or to the parents. According to a letter from Liberty Counsel to the Pasco County School District, the first time the girl entered the locker room on September 27th, she caught "boys with their pants down, causing them embarrassment and concern by the fact that they had been observed changing by an obvious girl."

After all we are talking about middle schoolers, who are just going through puberty and still highly awkward. Adding girls and boys into the mix and into the locker room of the opposite sex when these kids are just learning to cope with puberty and their changing bodies makes things even more uncomfortable.

The P.E. teachers, Robert Oppedisano and Stephanie Christensen, were prevented from giving the boys any warning as to when the girl would be entering the boys locker room, as this would be classified as, "discriminatory" to the girl. Both P.E. teachers, Oppedisano and Christensen objected to the behavior, and were told by the administrators that they had to comply.

Despite objecting to this policy, school officials then asked Oppedisano to walk into the locker room and observe the students. This, despite the fact that there would be a minor girl who could be partially undressed or nude.

The letter from Liberty Counsel explains that Oppedisano then refused to, "knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress." As a result of the whole incident Oppedisano was then told by administrators that he would be"transferred to another school as discipline."

In an interview on October 25th with the Tampa Bay Times, P.E. teacher, Stephanie Christensen stated, "I told them (Chasco administrators) I have an issue with it." She then continued to explain that, "part of my concern is, if students are allowed to do this, the other kids and their parents have a right to know. It's their privacy, too."

Seems like a fair statement, right?

Parents and students should be allowed to know what is happening around them and be informed of changes in policies.

Yet, despite the fact that the initial incident happened in September (2018) the 70,000 parents of Pasco County Schools have not been informed by school administrators, or even the Pasco School Board. Meanwhile, the transgender girl continues to have full access to the boys locker room. This comes as a result of the Sarasota County school guidelines that state that parents do not have to be informed by the school of their child's decision to classify themselves as a different gender.

This comes, apparently, from the notion that schools are much, "safer" than the home and that the teachers and school administrators know better than you what's best for your children.

We live in a country where we are blessed with freedoms that others don't have in other countries. We are able to vote for elected officials; women can drive, etc. We also live in a country that is divided on so much - politically and socially. Sometimes we fail we meet each other in the middle and understand where the opposite side is coming from.

This male P.E. teacher did the correct thing.

This middle school girl self-identifies as a male. That's cool, that's how she feels, and we can't tell her how or what she may or may not be feeling. We can't tell her who she is either. Biologically she is still a female, though she may identify as a male.

Biologically, there are still two genders. Two genders that can procreate and keep making children for future generations. You are either a male or a female - biologically speaking.



We've gone into this zone where as soon as someone states that they think they're transgender or non-binary or whatever, that's the end of the conversation. You can be a girl and wear sports jersey's and be into ice hockey, just like you can be a guy and wear pink and do ballet and not be gay.

We are way too quick to judge and label people based off of their interests. Especially when it comes to kids, especially kids just approaching puberty. We need to let kids be kids, and not bring them into these things. We need to find a better way of dealing with it, rather than automatically letting a 13-year old kid decide everything and not involving the parents.

On the other side, can you imagine if the P.E. teacher had agreed to watch over this girl in the boys locker room and put himself in a potential situation for watching a biological girl in state of undress or even in nude, can you imagine the possible lawsuits or possible criminal charges?

Either way, this was a losing battle. If he agrees, the gym teacher gets attacked and called a "pedophile" and if he refuses - like he did - he then gets threatened to be fired and switched to another school.

It's a lose - lose situation.

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Updated Dec 8, 2018 9:33 AM EST | More details

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