Fox News promotes false story about transgender student harassing girls in bathroom
Fox News was fooled by a tendentious report advanced by right-wing Christian media about a transgender student who was allegedly harassing girls in a Colorado high school bathroom.
Fox Nation on Monday promoted a Daily Mail article that has since been pulled from the site and debunked by the school’s superintendent that was based on a complaint by the conservative Pacific Justice Institute and reported by the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harrassing (sic) girls in the bathroom,” CBN reported Sunday. “When parents complained, school officials said the boy’s rights as a transgender trumped their daughters’ privacy rights.”
The CBN article claims students were told they could be kicked off sports teams or charged with hate crimes if they continued to voice their concerns about the situation.
“We’re not going to stand by and let 99.7 percent of our students lose their privacy and free speech rights just because .3 percent of the population are gender-confused,” the PJI wrote in its letter to the school.
A PJI attorney is quoted in the letter describing the situation as “a nightmare scenario for the teenage girls—some of them freshmen—and their parents at this school.”
“This is exactly the kind of horror story we have been warning would accompany the push for radical transgender rights in schools,” said attorney Matthew McReynolds, “and it is the type of situation that LGBT activits (sic) have been insisting would not happen.”
According to the school’s superintendent, it probably didn’t happen.
Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti told The Transadvocate the story was based on a complaint by one parent who opposes transgender students being allowed to use appropriate bathroom facilities and not on any actual reported incidents.
“Nothing has actually been verified with us,” said Vendetti, superintendent of Florence-Penrose Schools. “This is one parent basically bringing their viewpoint about this situation to the media because they weren’t getting the responses that they hoped they would get from the district, from parents of students at the high school, or from the board and myself. So I think it’s just an attempt to elevate the situation to a point where maybe some more attention can be drawn to that in the hope of having a different outcome.”
Vendetti told the (Canon City) Daily Record the incident was under investigation by law enforcement after the school conducted its own investigation.
“But to our knowledge and based on our investigation, none of those things have actually happened,” she told The Transadvocate. “We do have a transgender student at the high school and she has been using the women’s restroom. There has not been a situation.”
[Image via YouTube]