At the beginning of the School District of Indian River County's General Business meeting, Superintendent Dr. David Moore addressed the public regarding concerns about the District's LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide. This was done at the request of School Board Member, Ms. Jackie Rosario. The Presentation was the Superintendent's Report to the School Board, which is typically given later in the Business Meeting.
Dr. Moore said his remarks were to “provide clarifying statements” on the District’s LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide. This was to give the public a “deep understanding of the intent and rationale” of the Resource Guide.
Dr. Moore said the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide is “secondary as it relates to Parental Rights.” He said Parental Rights is the “driving force” in the School District and ensures that the District “adheres” to Parental Rights.
Dr. Moore said the guide has been used as a Resource for Administrators in the District and has been in the district “for quite some time.” He also mentioned School Board Chairman Teri Barenborg had brought it to his attention earlier in the School Year. He saw at the time that changes needed to be made. He asked District staff and the School Board’s attorney to make the necessary changes to the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide. He said as he was looking at the Resource Guide, he pointed out how there are still “opportunities to enhance and clarify some of the information” in the document.
Dr. Moore went on to say “at the end of the day, this district school district will ensure that no student is discriminated against, that every single student that walks through our doors feels accepted, feels understood, because that is a prerequisite for learning and we are in a difficult time.”
Dr. Moore mentioned that he, as a School District Superintendent, that it is his “obligation" to provide guidance to School Principals in the District. He said "they are leading our schools and they are dependent upon us to provide clarifying information because they’re the ones on the front row, they’re the ones receiving this information and working through this information on a daily basis.”
Dr. Moore said the School District Principals have the “opportunity to receive feedback, ask questions” regarding information put out that is similar to the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide.
Dr. Moore said regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, “without the opportunity to exchange, I see clearly there are opportunities in which people can say this is of concern.” He then said “this is not something I necessarily agree with.”
Dr. Moore then went over steps for the District moving forward regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide.
The first thing regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide Dr. Moore spoke to is Action 2: Student Privacy. He said this was referring to "outside organizations" and the District's sharing student information.
The policy basically says that a student’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression will not be shared without consent of the parents. If the student is 18 years or older, that privacy right falls to the student.
The specific issue Dr. Moore brought up was where this policy says “students’ or parents’ consent.” He clarified that the “students’” part meant students that are ages 18 and older. Some, including myself, thought that the “students’” part meant all students, including those that are under the age of 18. Dr. Moore said that this part of the Resource Guide can be updated to provide more “clarity.”
Many have raised concerns over the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide due to educators across the United States pushing Transgender ideology onto students behind the backs of Parents. The Libs of TikTok Twitter account has shown many examples of this, such as the one below.
Non-binary second grade teacher says he came out as trans to his students. He says they didn’t understand what that means so he explained it to them. pic.twitter.com/r2KaTWK2dU— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) May 26, 2022
The next Action Step, Dr. Moore spoke about was Action 3: Names and Pronouns. Regarding this part, Dr. Moore said this part of the policy “does not supersede Parental Rights.” Action 3: Names and Pronouns was written to honor request of parents and students if the parents want their child to be affirmed by different pronouns than what was assigned at birth.
Dr. Moore then spoke to Action 4: Restrooms and Locker Rooms. He acknowledged this is one that the public has had big concern over. He then said “there is a student code of conduct. Students who male, go to the male bathroom and students who are female go to the female bathroom. When there is a situation in which a Transgender student is feeling as if they are being isolated or they’re feeling they're being discriminated, that is a case by case situation in which the [district] works with families to come up with accommodations.” Where it says “case by case situation” in Action 4 in the LGBTQ+ Administrator Resource Guide, this is what Dr. Moore is referring to. Dr. Moore went on to say “every single time our schools have been successful.” He said that in all the Secondary Schools in the District, that they have Single Use Restroom that can be used by a Male or Female. Dr. Moore pointed out how the Principals in those schools have been “very very successful.”
He said “if a student who is in need of accommodation, is a Transgender student, that’s when we provide and work with the families to create those accommodations.”
Most importantly, Dr. Moore pointed out “students who just generically walk into the opposite sex bathroom is going to have to face the code of conduct. They’re clearly identified procedures and expectations. We want to ensure every single student feels safe and is able to follows those specific rules.”
Moving on to Action 5: Interscholastic Athletics, Dr. Moore said males play in male sports and females play in female sports, “unless a female wants to participate in a sport that is not offered” by the School as a female sport.” Dr. Moore said the School District is required by State law to provide females with the opportunity to play in a sport that is not offered for females at the school. Dr. Moore said the Statement for Action 5 needs to be refined so that what is said at the board meeting is included and that anything beyond what is covered in the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act 1006.205 is to be handled on a “case by case” basis.
Dr. Moore said “there are opportunities for us moving forward to be more specific and I will continue to say, this was an internal guide that we use to provide information to Principals as they are the ones who are standing in the classrooms, dealing with Principals. We will not be a District that allows students to walk into our building and feel as if they’re being discriminated against. We really need to be intentional around the reality of the world we live in, in providing an education environment in which all students feel accepted and embraced. So there are opportunities to enhance this guide, so regardless of who the reader is, it doesn't cause the level of reaction that is not the reality in our schools. That is not the reality in our Schools. And I will say that again for the third time; some of the concerns is not, has not been, nor will never be a issue in our Schools because our Principals are vigilant in providing the available resources, problem solving with families to come up with accommodations, so students do not feel they are being discriminated against.”
He went on to say “as we penned new guidance that will be coming from the State, there will be opportunities to make modifications or changes to this resource guide.”
Dr. Moore pointed out how there are “a number of pending cases that are being heard in court, which the outcome of those specific cases may require additional changes or modifications” when talking about the revisions to the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide.
Dr. Moore said the District “as a system” will be conducting a feasibility study on Single Use Restrooms for both males and females. He thinks the District is in a “pretty decent place,” but thinks a comprehensive study needs to be done on Single Use Restrooms to inform the School Board where the District is currently at on this.
Dr. Moore said as “changes or modifications” are made to the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide over the summer in preparation to the upcoming School Year, Dr. Moore said he will “share those changes or modifications with the board.” He said that he hopes what he had shared “provides a level of clarity” and said he is more than happy answer any questions Board Members may have regarding the LGBTQ+ Resource Guide.
Dr. Moore said as "changes or modifications" are made to the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide, it will be going through a "comprehensive legal review" that will be done either inside the School District or outside the School District. Dr. Moore said he is "completely wide open to the work th0at we do as we need to be transparent in the" work the District does.
Dr. Moore's presentation can be viewed at 01:10:22 of the live video on YouTube. You can also click here to watch the video on YouTube.
Editor's Note: Indian River News will have a followup report on what the School Board Members discussed regarding the LGBTQ+ Administrative Resource Guide after Public Input. This story will be updated to reflect that update.
If you would like to support the work of Indian River News, click here to go to our SubscribeStar page to become a Subscriber today. Your monthly contribution will help Indian River News continue its Journalism and News Reporting in Indian River County.