Responding to reports of a biological male student injuring two female students during a fight in a girls’ bathroom at an Oklahoma high school, the state’s incoming top public school official is warning school districts to comply with a new law requiring that the use of private spaces in schools must correspond with one’s birth gender.
State Secretary of Education Ryan Walters, a Republican who will begin as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in January, said in a video posted to Twitter: “Our legislature and governor passed and signed a bill that says boys cannot go into girls’ restrooms for this precise reason,” said Walters, speaking of SB 615, which became law last May. “We will not allow the radical Left’s Woke ideology to endanger our girls by having boys in the girls’ restrooms, where assaults like this can happen.”
The alleged assault, which occurred on Oct. 26, reportedly involved a trans-identifying biological male student and two female students who required medical attention after the fight. School officials say the trans-identifying student enrolled as a female and administrators had no reason to question his biological sex before the incident.
The story received little to no media attention until Dec. 12, when Canada-based feminist website Reduxx obtained the police report from the Edmond Police Department, which had responded to the incident. (An online search shows that the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs’ Ray Carter, director of its Center for Independent Journalism, appears to have broken the story on Dec. 8. Carter is an award-winning journalist and former chief editorial writer at the Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City.) So far, major news outlets are either downplaying the story or not reporting on it at all.
“If Edmond school officials knowingly allowed males to use the girls’ bathroom (and vice versa) based on self-proclaimed gender identity, the school could face the loss of 5 percent of its state funding and be subject to lawsuits by parents” under SB 615, Carter wrote.
As a “reasonable accommodation,” SB 615 requires schools to offer a non-gendered restroom or changing space for students who desire to use it.
News reports state that two female students were treated for injuries and one displayed injuries to the eyes and face and had a “possible concussion,” according to the police report. The Edmond schools superintendent, Angela Grunewald, described the injuries as “minor.”
School officials in the north Oklahoma City suburb say the transgender student, who was new to Edmond Memorial High School, enrolled as a female a few days before the incident. Grunewald later posted a video saying the school had no reason to question his biological sex. Grunewald also noted that Edmond schools passed a policy in August in keeping with SB 615, and that the transgender student is no longer attending the school. A paternity affidavit confirms the transgender student’s sex at birth, according to the police report.
School officials say the district is intent on complying with all laws, and “those involved in the fight have received consequences in accordance with both district policy and state law,” an Edmond school district spokesman told Reduxx.
Walters says that as state superintendent, he will require Oklahoma public school districts to notify parents of their restroom policies and submit them for state review.
The story is far from the first such assault to occur in a girls’ restroom. One of the most prominent happened in Loudoun County, Virginia, where school officials are alleged to have attempted to cover up two separate sexual assaults committed by a biological male student identifying as “gender fluid.” A grand jury announced indictments Dec. 12 for the Virginia county’s school superintendent and its former public information officer.
A poll last year conducted by Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies and Harris Insights and Analytics runs against the grain of trends in education, politics and corporate America on the transgender movement. A full 62% of Americans disagree that people should be able to declare their own gender.
Chon Kit Leong / Alamy Stock Photo