Bonham ISD responds to federal transgender bathroom policy

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BONHAM, Texas -- Bonham ISD is responding to the new federal transgender bathroom policy.

Bonham ISD Superintendent Dr. Marvin Beaty says he put a lot of thought into his statement outlining why they will not follow the new guidelines.

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released a letter of guidance Friday ordering that all public schools permit students to use restrooms based on their gender identity.

"It make me uncomfortable," said parent Kathy Gentry.

"I think it's ridiculous how much time our society is spending talking about this issue," said Michael Keck.

Dr. Beaty says it's a gross overreach of federal authority.

"We're going to insist that people use anatomically correct bathrooms," said Dr. Beaty.

Superintendent Dr. Beaty says the district doesn't condone bullying or discrimination, and President Obama is trying to fix a problem the district doesn't have.

"There is no strife among our student body concerning these matters," said Dr. Beaty. "Our kids get get a long very well and accept each others choices."

Commenters on the Bonham ISD Facebook page had mixed reactions, so did the people we talked to on camera.

"I mean if my kids, my daughters, go into a bathroom I feel a male shouldn't be in there," said Gentry. "I would feel unsafe and insecure about it."

"It's never been important before and now it's all we want to talk about," said Keck.

Following the new policy is a condition of receiving federal funds for education, which Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick calls "political blackmail." Beaty agrees.

"20% of our budget comes from the federal government and when they can say do it or else they have the ability, if they withhold the funds, to shut us down," said Dr. Beaty. "We couldn't operate in the same capacity."

Dr. Beaty says if the board of trustees directs him to comply with the new policy he will.