Small town reaction on Obama administration’s transgender guidelines

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SILVIS, Illinois — One of the smallest districts in the Quad Cities is figuring out how it will comply with a letter from the Obama Administration that gives guidance to schools across the country on how to accommodate transgender students.

Eagle Ridge School District has about 300 students. The district receives $172,000 in federal funding. The letter is not law, but it implies the threat that if schools do not comply with the letter funding could be pulled. Set aside opinions on the transgender issue, and what's left is the federal government giving mandates that affect education at the local level.

Andy Richmond has been the superintendent at Eagle Ridge School District for 8 years. He has never seen an issue like this.

The discussion on transgender students in schools is already happening at the local level.

"There are superintendents across the board, in our county that are already facing these issues, we meet on a monthly basis, we talk about it we see what other superintendents are doing and you try and follow by example," said Richmond.

The Eagle Ridge School District will fully comply with the guidelines of the letter, and though Richmond says the school does not have a transgender student, he wants to keep an open line of communication with parents and students. To accommodate a student who wants to use a bathroom opposite of his or his sex assigned at birth, a call would first have to come from the parent of the transgender child.

"I just want to sit down with them and make sure we have all our information covered and they understand that information so that when a decision is made, by a parent, that they have all the necessary information," said Richmond.

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