Some Howell parents upset over transgender bathroom issue

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A father in Howell is pulling his kids out of elementary school - all because of the controversy over transgender bathrooms.

There's a lot of debate over whether he's being reasonable or overreacting. The superintendent did send out a district wide email announcing the changes. 

Although he says it's a priority for students to feel safe and secure in school - not all parents are convinced.

"If a transgendered child walked into your child's bathroom how would you feel?

"I would be a little bit upset," said Kery Lowe.

It's a change Kery Lowe, a mother of a 14 year-old girl, is not comfortable with.

Howell Public Schools have joined a number of districts, which are now following federal guidelines. To prevent sexual discrimination, transgender students are now allowed to use the bathroom that match their gender identities.

"I have mixed feelings about it," Lowe said. "Would I want a transgendered child with my child? Absolutely not. (But) you may not have a choice. I think she would use handicap bathroom or permission to use the office restroom."

One father was so upset after a girl used the boys bathroom, he says he has decided to keep his three sons home from Southwest Elementary until the Howell district changes its policy. He said his boys felt humiliated and intimidated.

In response: Howell Public Schools issued this statement - in part it reads:

"With respect to restrooms, the government stated that transgender students must be allowed to access those facilities 'consistent with their gender identity.' Any student who desires additional privacy in light of this directive may, however, make use of individual-user restrooms.

"This is a new and rapidly developing area of law. Howell Public Schools intends to comply with its legal obligations in this"

But not all parents are resisting the change that was designed to protect transgendered students from peer harassment.

Angela Turner, whose daughter Janae attends Howell Middle School, thinks some parents are overreacting.

"I think it is a little silly - they are 9," she said. "But I understand people have own choices. I think they will be ok."

FOX 2: "Do you mind sharing a bathroom?"

"Not really," Janae Turner said. "Sometimes it's weird because I don't know who it is."

"It doesn't matter to me, I think it's fine," said Dean Loebig. "Use whatever bathrooms you want to use that is required. I think it is fine."

FOX 2 asked Loebig, a father of two Howell students, what do you plan to tell your children? He said "I'll just tell them if they are not comfortable leave and come back later."