A public school district in Florida stands accused of supporting a controversial policy that violates the privacy of students and has now led to the punishment of two physical education teachers who objected.
Liberty Counsel has learned that Pasco County Public Schools is following a controversial "Gender Support Plan" that mirrors similar left-wing policies surfacing around the country that elevate transgender students above the privacy and safety of other students.
Pasco County public schools oversees approximately 70,000 students in more than 80 schools outside Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Times reported in an Oct. 25 story that the teachers, Stephanie Christensen and Robert Oppedisano, contacted Liberty Counsel after they felt their jobs were in jeopardy by school officials.
Oppedisano was threatened with a job transfer for refusing to supervise the female student while she showered, Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast told "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" in a recent radio interview.
That threat of a job transfer was only slowed down when Liberty Counsel got involved, he said.
"There’s no privacy at all. There’s open showers," Mast said of the locker room. "And he’s ordered to continue supervising this facility while the girl has unfettered access. And if in [the school district's] mind she’s a boy, he has the right to do everything else that boys are allowed to do, including shower, including changing, including undressing. And that’s just a risk that no male P.E. teacher should be forced to take.”
An email from school administrators, obtained by Liberty Counsel, suggests getting rid of the male P.E. teacher to send a "clear message" that such behavior won't be tolerated within Pasco County public schools.
The hot-button issue was discussed at an October school board meeting, where local homosexual activists urged the school board to support the plan, the Times reported.
The Tampa Bay Times story also reported that Chistensen, the second P.E. teacher, clashed with school officials when she was told that informing parents and students about a female student showering in the locker room would violate the trangender student's privacy rights.
"Part of my concern is, if students are allowed to do this," Chistensen told the newspaper, "the other kids and their parents have a right to know. It’s their privacy, too."
Even informing boys that the transgender student was going to shower with them was not allowed and doing so was viewed as failing to obey a school administrator's directive, Liberty Counsel contends.
A letter the organization sent to Pasco school officials describes how the female student walked in on unsuspecting male students who literally had their pants down, and when the male students went to the P.E. teachers they were "powerless to respond" because of the orders from school officials.
Liberty Counsel says a school psychologist and pro-LGBT activist, Jackie Jackson-Dean, authored the plan which got adopted without input from parents and without school board approval.
The school board has allowed a single school psychologist to "literally override the rights of parents, common sense, the students and teachers," Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel founder, tells OneNewsNow.
Liberty Counsel says the plan explicitly states, in more than one section, that parents might object and should not be contacted about the issue.
Editor's Note: "Washington Watch" airs on American Family Radio, a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.