Superintendent suspends transgender bathroom decision

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — For more than three hours, hundreds of people packed a meeting Monday night to talk about transgender bathroom use in school.

Prior to the meeting, the Pickens County school superintendent said he got death threats since announcing transgender students can use the bathroom for the gender with which they identify.

There has been much confusion in regard to the district's decision. The confusion started last week when Superintendent Carlton Wilson cited an 11th Circuit Court ruling that hasn't gone into effect yet.

Monday night, Wilson admitted during the meeting that he was misinformed and announced that he has put the decision on hold until he and the board can discuss the issue further, but that did little to stop the criticism that came from hundreds of parents.

Channel 2's Michael Seiden spoke with parents on both sides of the controversial topic.


"My concern is my son's level of comfort that is now being changed, and he's done nothing wrong," said a parent in opposition of the decision.

"So when you sit there and you say that you think you're going to be a man walking into a bathroom with a woman, that's not the case. You're a man walking into the restroom with other men. A trans person is just as valid as you are," a supporter of the decision said.

Most of the anger expressed Monday night was directed at Wilson and his elected board members.

"You tried to sneak it through. And I am so, so disappointed with the people we elected," a parent said.

After the meeting, Seiden caught up with Wilson.

"Do you have any regrets about this situation?" Seiden asked.

"If I could go back and change things, I would love not to have this," Wilson said.

The superintendent says, for now, transgender students can use gender neutral bathrooms until a final decision is made.

The board's final decision could come as early as Friday.

The Georgia Department of Education sent us the following statement:

"It is the responsibility of the local school system to ensure parents and community members are at the table, informed, and not taken by surprise when a policy is enacted and announced."

A communications director said safety is the top priority.