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A Pennsylvania high school has become ground zero in the fight over allowing boys who think they are girls to use the bathrooms of their choice.
Marissa Fallon, the director of Advocacy for Parents Defending Education, joined the Todd Starnes Show to discuss recent protests at Sun Valley High School.
“Eventually, some of the students and parents organized a walkout in protest of allowing single-sex spaces to be essentially used by anyone with no policy, and no parameters in place in the district,” Fallon told host Todd Starnes.
The Penn-Delco district outside of Philadelphia allowed an 18-year-old male student, who identifies as transgender, to use the girl’s restroom.
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“The girls were feeling unsafe. They were feeling harassed in the bathroom. They have been anxious to use the bathroom, having a lot of anxiety. So they reached out to their school officials, including their principal, to express their concerns and their fear. And really their concerns fell for the most part on deaf ears. No one would address the situation was why the student was in the bathroom, or what allowed him to be in the bathroom,” Fallon continued.
She said some students were even threatened by school administrators.
“The Penn-Delco kids have been bullied, harassed, you know, coaches saying you can’t participate with the team today if you participate in the walkout,” she said. “So these kids are sacrificing a lot. It’s not easy what they’re doing, but good for them for putting up for what they believe.”
Following, is a rush transcript of Todd’s interview and click here to get a copy of Todd’s new book, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming: Can America Be Saved?”
TODD STARNES: [00:41:37] Well, we have been covering a lot of crazy stories, campus chaos across America. And there is a war being waged right now on American public and private school campuses, and students are now starting to fight back. I want to go to the Patriot mobile newsmaker line. Marissa Fallon is the director of Advocacy for Parents Defending Education, a great group defending-ed-dot-org is the website. And, Marissa, first of all, great to have you with us on the show today. [00:42:09][32.3]
MARISSA FALLON: [00:42:10] Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to talk about this with you. [00:42:14][3.1]
TODD STARNES: [00:42:14] Well, let’s talk about what happened. I want you to, there are two components to this story. So first of all, tell us what happened that caused students to get riled up at the Penn-Delco School District. [00:42:24][10.5]
MARISSA FALLON: [00:42:26] Yep. So this is the Penn-Delco district, which is outside of Philadelphia. And the students and the parents in this district for month after month have been going to school board meetings, talking to their superintendent, reaching out to elected state officials about a really concerning situation that a lot of the girls were reporting that there was an 18-year-old male student using the girl’s bathroom who was identifying as transgender. And the girls were feeling unsafe. They were feeling harassed in the bathroom. They have been anxious to use the bathroom, having a lot of anxiety. So they reached out to their school officials, including their principal, to express their concerns and their fear. And really their concerns fell for the most part on deaf ears. No one would address the situation was why the student was in the bathroom, or what allowed him to be in the bathroom. And in the end, all the school offered was that the girls could use a single-sex bathroom on the other side of the school so the biological male could continue to use the girl’s bathroom. But the girls, if they felt uncomfortable, they had to walk across the campus to use a single-stall unisex bathroom. [00:43:44][77.6]
TODD STARNES: [00:43:45] So I’m curious. Yeah, I’m curious how all that worked out. [00:43:47][2.8]
MARISSA FALLON: [00:43:49] Yeah, well, the girls, obviously, people wouldn’t use the bathroom. I mean, they didn’t want to do that. They would go to the bathroom in pairs. So really, they ended up at a standstill where this male was still allowed to use the bathroom. The girls were uncomfortable. Continue to complain about it. Nobody does anything. Eventually, some of the students and parents organized a walkout in protest of allowing single-sex spaces to be essentially used by anyone with no policy, and no parameters in place in the district. [00:44:22][32.4]
TODD STARNES: [00:44:23] This is just absolutely insane. So moms and dads, students got very upset. And tell us what happened next. [00:44:31][7.9]
MARISSA FALLON: [00:44:34] So the students got upset. Nobody was listening to them. They organized a walkout. And that was October 25th at Sun Valley High School, which is one of their high schools. And they were essentially protesting the bathroom, not only the existing bathroom regulations, I can’t even call them a policy, because during the parent’s research and during our research, we couldn’t find any existing policy that was allowing people to pick and choose whatever bathroom they want to use. So that was one thing they were protesting. But another thing that then came up was the district. They quickly got a lot of press attention, a lot of negative attention, and a lot of questions finally being asked in a very public way that they couldn’t hide from. The district is now attempting to rush through a nondiscrimination gender preference accommodation policy, which is policy 259 which is essentially going to codify these bathroom rules allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choosing. [00:45:36][62.5]
TODD STARNES: [00:45:37] I’m curious to get your reaction to that, because in many of these cases early on, the students were either nonresponsive to this kind of stuff or they would side with the LGBT community. But clearly, something else is going on here. This is sort of exciting, to be honest with you. [00:45:55][17.8]
MARISSA FALLON: [00:45:56] Yeah, I think it’s really great. And I think this is an example of students who have had enough. I mean, the Sun Valley High School community and the Penn-Delco community were inspired by a neighboring community in Pennsylvania, the Perk Valley High School, where at the end of September there was actually a male student. And the male student was so upset about hearing, again, a similar situation, biological males using the girl’s bathrooms that he organized a massive walkout. That happened at the end of September to protest the school’s decision to allow transgender students to use any bathroom they chose. So then it kind of catches fire, right? So then the Penn-Delco parents see, oh, not only did these students have this walkout, but it actually caused the Perk Valley High School to change their policy of who can use the bathroom. So then Penn-Delco had a rally with the same purpose. And now we’re seeing actually tomorrow in Loudoun County, Virginia, they’re doing a walkout to restore girls-only and boys-only lockers, showers, and bathrooms and overturn their policy 80/40, which is their transgender policy, which allows transgender students to use the bathroom of their choosing. So we are seeing you know, kids have been through a lot in school between COVID, critical race theory, social-emotional learning, restorative justice. Now we’re seeing this gender ideology being pushed at the students. And I think the students are really speaking up and coming out and saying they’ve had enough. They want to go to school, they want to learn, and they want to do the math. They want to work on projects. They want to be on their sports teams, and they don’t want to have all of these distractions being forced down their throat without any discussion whatsoever about really what’s the best situation for the school community as a whole because these decisions get made on an administrative and school board level, but there’s usually barely any discussion about whether or not these policies are good. So instead what we’re doing is pushing girls out of girls’ spaces. It’s like the tyranny of the minority, right? For a small number of students, all of the other students have to suffer and they’re never included in the process. So I’m really proud of these kids for sticking up for themselves and for speaking out. And believe me, it’s not easy. The Penn-Delco kids have been bullied, harassed, you know, coaches saying you can’t participate with the team today if you participate in the walkout. So these kids are sacrificing a lot. It’s not easy what they’re doing, but good for them for putting up for what they believe. [00:48:45][168.3]
TODD STARNES: [00:48:45] I just love this. And Marissa and by the way, folks, Marissa Fallon is on the Patriot mobile newsmaker line today, director of Advocacy for Parents Defending Education. Marissa, I want you to give our listeners and sort of the talking points real quick of the group and what you guys are up to. [00:49:02][16.9]
MARISSA FALLON: [00:49:03] Okay, great. So parents defending education. We’re a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists promoting harmful agendas. So what we really want to do is we want to get we want to get the politics out of schools and we want to get back to learning the fundamentals. You know, reading, writing, math, science. We’re seeing the NAEP scores in almost every district, which is the national report card on how students are doing, basically, you know, has fallen off a cliff. And that started happening before COVID. So a lot of people want to blame that on COVID, but it started to happen in 2019. So we’re clearly seeing the kids are not getting the education that their tax dollars are paying for. A big part of that is schools spending a lot of time on activists and political agendas that have nothing to do with the core educational values that parents and taxpayers want the children to be focusing on. So our organization helps with that. [00:50:04][60.7]
TODD STARNES: [00:50:04] That’s great. And again, folks defending Ed defending Ed dot org is the website. And be sure to check out the great work of Marissa and the great team there. Marissa, got to leave it there. Appreciate the great information and thank you for fighting the good fight out there. [00:50:19][14.8]
MARISSA FALLON: [00:50:20] Thanks so much. [00:50:21][0.4]
TODD STARNES: [00:50:21] All right. There you go. Marissa Fallon. She is the director of Advocacy for Parents Defending Education. And we’ll be sure to get her back. I just love to see this because I think the students now are behaving more like adults than the adults are in our public schools. [00:50:37][15.7]