Tucson School Board Won’t Reconsider Secretive Policy Allowing Males In Girls’ Rooms

March 20, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

A Tucson school board says it won’t review its secretive policy allowing males who claim to be transgender into girls’ locker rooms and restrooms.

The Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) told parents that it wouldn’t reconsider their unwritten policy on boys who claim to be transgender — a policy which also doesn’t require parents to be notified when males use their daughters’ locker rooms and restrooms, and directs girls to use another facility if they’re upset that males use female-designated private spaces. The policy has reportedly been in place for at least a decade.

Eileen Jackson, president of the CFDS governing board, informed one parent, Bart Pemberton, in a February email obtained by Daily Caller News Foundation that students uncomfortable with their policy may request an accommodation.

“Similarly, any student who is uncomfortable sharing multiple-occupancy facilities with others has the ability to request an accommodation,” Jackson said. “[O]ur administrators do not require any student to be singled out or isolated based on any of the protected statuses identified in our policy.”

Jackson told Pemberton in a follow-up email that the governing board wouldn’t review the matter and had no interest in doing so. Jackson added that she fully supported the policy.

“By not requesting this item be added to a future agenda, I am expressing my full support of the policy and our administrators’ implementation of this policy in our schools,” said Jackson.

In response to online criticism, CFSD pointed back to its 2015 governing board decision to expand its nondiscrimination policy to include gender identity, as justification of its unwritten policy on males in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms.

“This policy guides administrators in their daily decisions that arise in the operation of our schools. Principals operate well within the directive of the Board’s established policy,” stated CFSD. “There is no plan to revise the board policy to exclude the language referencing gender identity or expression. Board members have indicated their full support of the current policy and our administrators’ implementation of this policy in our schools.”

CFSD’s governing board policy came from the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA), which also hosts the policy on its platform. The latest version of this policy was adopted in June 2021.

ASBA recently fought against the advancement of legislation intended to remove sexualized books from K-12 classrooms. 

Chris Kotterman, representing ASBA, claimed that the legislation was an “unprecedented state control of curriculum.” Kotterman also issued a veiled warning that the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) wouldn’t always be run by a Republican individual, as it is currently, indicating that the legislation’s framework for creating  prohibited books list would be weaponized against those advocating to remove sexualized content. 

CFSD also offers resources to students concerning gender identity and expression, referring students to the It Gets Better Project, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA), and Gender Affirming Healthcare.

These organizations listed by CFSD offer minors everything from counseling to information on medical treatments for gender identity and expression. 

“Gender affirming healthcare can include therapy to address feelings of gender dysphoria, as well as medical treatments that help individuals achieve physical characteristics that better align with their gender identity,” stated CFSD. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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