by Reagan Reese
Residents of Paris, Maine, recalled two school board members on Tuesday who pushed a gender identity policy that would hide student gender transitions from parents, according to WGME News.
In a 333-243 vote, community members voted out Oxford Hills School Board Director Sarah Otterson and School Board Member Julia Lester after they supported the implementation of a gender policy that would keep a students’ transgender status a secret from their parents and allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity, according to WGME News. The vote comes after roughly 700 residents signed a petition against the board members in November, forcing a recall vote of the two board members.
“I feel that parents do have the right to know what is going on in their schools, especially with their children. And I don’t think that was right for them to make those decisions without informing the parents,” Michaele Flanders, a Paris resident, told the outlet.
The policy was first proposed in October after the school district discovered that 16 other Maine school districts had implemented a similar policy, WGME reported. The school has “an obligation to keep all of our children safe in our schools” Oxford Hills Interim Superintendent Heather Manchester said about the proposed policy.
Lester resigned from her school board position prior to the vote and has since been replaced, according to News Center Maine. The Paris town clerk will appoint a new board member to replace Otterson for the rest of her term.
Town officials updated the number of ballots they received. 333 people voted to recall Otterson and Lester. 243 voted not to recall. @WGME https://t.co/CeI8nkHIBj
— Owen Kingsley (@OwenWGME) January 10, 2023
“Many people view it as taking away a parent’s right to have their children be able to speak privately to people at school, but in fact, it’s for the safety of the children because the suicide rate among these kids is really high,” Lesli Olson, a Paris resident, said to News Center Maine.
The Oxford Hills School District did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Reagan Reese is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.