Dallas district to host meeting on policy

DALLAS — The Dallas School District will hold a special meeting Tuesday to address concerns about its policy allowing a transgender boy to use the boys locker room and restrooms at Dallas High School.

Board Chairwoman Lu Ann Meyer said the board will ask questions of legal counsel and representatives from Oregon School Boards Association. Community members also would be invited to ask questions.

Community members packed the board’s Dec. 14 meeting and the majority of those who commented wanted the district to change its policy to protect the privacy of all students.

The policy was the subject of several comments at the board’s meeting Monday.

“The students of all Dallas schools deserve to know they are safe and their rights are protected,” said Dallas resident Blaine Barklow, who spoke in favor of the policy and thanked the board.

She had signed a petition supporting the policy and spoke Monday after reading about the comments at the Dec. 14 meeting.

“I’m deeply concerned about our community,” she said. “What I heard and read doesn’t reflect the Dallas I know and the values of our community.”

Several others spoke in favor of the policy, including representatives of Basic Rights Oregon and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

Others were not supportive of the policy.

Parents and other community members testified the policy violates the privacy and religious rights of the other students.

“There will be consequences, potentially legal, for your administrators and district staff who must implement faulty policy which does not protect rights of privacy, safety and comfort for all,” said Dallas resident Kim Conolly.

Conolly said families may refuse to move to Dallas or move out of the district because of the policy.

She urged the board to develop a policy that is mindful of all students.

“Let us not look to municipal policies,” she said. “They don’t offer guidance for school boards. Students are minors.”

Learn more: DSD special board meeting is Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Dallas Civic Center, 945 SE Jefferson St.

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