Sen. Cassily Says HCPS "Neglected Their Duties" In Response To Mixed-Gender Locker Rooms

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Credit: Harford County Public Schools

HAVRE DE GRACE - Maryland State Senator Bob Cassily penned another letter to Harford County Public Schools on Wednesday.

In his latest rebuke of HCPS' mixed-gender locker rooms, Cassily called the school board's policy "completely without merit."

"You claim that your policy is not an HCPS policy but is somehow mandated by federal law intended to ensure non-discrimination is completely without merit," he said. "There are no federal or state court rulings on non-discrimination in our public schools that can be fairly interpreted as directing that Maryland middle school students of one sex be allowed to use the locker rooms of the opposite sex."

This latest effort is not Casilly's first attempt to pressure HCPS. Cassily sent his first letter to the schools on September 26th, and their correspondence has continued since.

In his first letter, he admonished the school district's response to his complaints over mixed-gender locker rooms at HCPS facilities. Cassilly, who is on the ballot for Harford County Executive this November, sent this letter to HCPS after reportedly receiving a complaint from an unidentified child's parents. The child reportedly felt uncomfortable after a student used a locker room that conformed with their gender identity but not their biological sex.

"I would like to know by what right the school chooses to override students' natural, healthy, and wholesome desire for physical privacy," Cassilly said. He went on to describe the "mental trauma inflicted on students" as "outrageous."

In their initial response to Cassily, HCPS cited the Maryland State Public School Guidelines on gender identity and non-discrimination. Published in 2015, the guidance calls on all schools to "Provide access to a single use/gender neutral restroom for any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy, regardless of the underlying reason."

Cassily ended his latest letter by reminding HCPS of its status as a publicly funded organization and called for more communication between parents and the school district.

"You sit as a deliberative body in a very expensive, tax-payer-funded building that was carefully designed to allow effective public input on school matters," he said. "Major policy decisions should always be announced to the public in advance, and parents given an opportunity at a public meeting to address you in person to express their concerns. Anything less is a neglect of your duties."

HCPS has uploaded a full transcript of their correspondence with Cassily. You can read the full letters here.

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