Teacher & parent of Francis Howell transgender student ready to sue district over transgender bathroom policy

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:22 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:24 PM CST
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O’Fallon, Mo. (KMOV) -Protestors rallied outside a St. Charles County school district on Thursday to oppose a controversial transgender bathroom proposal. One parent is preparing to take them to court.

“If this policy passes, my family has no other course but to take legal action,” says Becky Hormuth.

Becky Hormuth is a teacher in the Francis Howell School District and has a transgender son who is a student in the district.

“It is not something that’s beneficial. It is discriminatory, and it is something that is illegal,” says Hormuth.

The proposal, which was tabled so the board could do more research, would prohibit gender-neutral bathrooms.

The policy draft says the rules would apply to restrooms and locker rooms. Students would only be allowed to use these facilities based on the sex assigned to them on their birth certificate.

Transgender students like senior Alexander Collins can get accommodation for a single-use bathroom. Collins says students’ safety is at risk if this policy is approved.

“We get called slurs in the hallway all the time,” Collins said. “I was told once that it would be better for me to die.”

However, not everyone agrees that transgender bathrooms are a good idea.

“There’s no written policy,” says Vivian Gontarz. “There’s a defacto policy that some kids are allowed to go into other bathrooms and make other kids feel uncomfortable.”

The LGBTQIA advocacy group PROMO was also in attendance to support students who are afraid to go to the restroom.

“There are multiple kids who are not eating, drinking or using the restrooms at all during the school day,” said PROMO’s Lacie Jett.

“As far as being bullied and being accepted, it’s going to the bathroom,” Gontarz says. “That doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be everything else. It’s just a biological thing.”

Hormuth says if this policy moves forward, the district should face consequences for what she believes is a civil rights violation.

“That is very disheartening and actually a very disgusting way to treat your students,” she says.

Board President Adam Bertrand says they don’t have a specific date for a second reading of the policy as they gather more information.