Residents of Delta County have expressed concern over recent statements made in public by Delta County School Board member, Katherine Svenson. At the October meeting she commented on rights of transgender students.
NewsChannel 5 requested a recorded tape of the meeting to verify what was said, and later sat down with Svenson and district officials.
Like many other school board districts around the country, they’re dealing with certain issues for the first time.
A Colorado school district continues to wrestle with fallout from the comments of a school board member toward transgender students.
At an October meeting of the Delta County School Board, board member Kathy Svenson dismissed the idea of legal equality for transgender students, making a pointed comparison between Colorado’s laws and recently-passed legislation in California and Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts and California have passed laws relating to calling a student, irrespective of his biological gender, letting him perform as the gender he thinks he is, or she is,” Svenson said. “I just want to emphasize, not in this district. Not until the plumbing’s changed. There would have to be castration in order to pass something like that around here.”
In later comments to local CBS television affiliate KREX, Svenson stood by her comments. “I don’t have a problem if some boys think they are girls, I’m just saying as long as they can impregnate a woman, they’re not going to go in girls locker-room,” she said.
A spokesman for the county school district rejected the suggestion that castration is even a consideration, and reaffirmed the district’s policy of nondiscrimination “against any student.”
Colorado’s Civil Rights Division ruled in June that students have the right to use the restrooms of whichever gender they identify as. That ruling prompted the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative activist organization, to target a transgender student at the heart of the legal opinion.
Svenson, a school board member elected in 2011, is a college dropout who identifies herself as a founder of an evangelical Christian ministry in northern India.