FIRST ON FOX: The families of Oklahoma middleschoolers are alarmed that their daughters are sharing bathrooms with a biologically male transgender student, in a controversy that has pitted the governor against the state superintendent.
Multiple family members of students in Oklahoma’s Stillwater Area Public Schools spoke out against the district enforcing the Biden administration policies allowing transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender they identify with.
A spokesperson for Oklahoma Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, a former Republican who became a Democrat to run against Governor Kevin Stitt, recently told the school district that “legal precedent has addressed the need for equal access, including facilities” and they had to acquiesce to federal policy .
Riley Flack, a father of three daughters whose oldest is a student at Stillwater Middle School, told Fox News Digital that “a lot of people like to make it a different issue than it is and make it a bigger subject” but that the “issue is singularly that there is a boy” that is “being allowed” in his daughter’s public school bathroom.
“And that’s the issue,” Flack said in a phone call. “I mean, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what sort of issues might come of a certain policy like this.”
Flack pointed to the sexual assault cases in Loudoun County, Virginia, and said that “there is zero reason why a boy should be allowed in the girls bathroom in a public school setting, especially at the grade of six, at 12 years old.”
“These kids cannot tie their shoes in some cases, much less decide what gender they are,” he continued. Flack also said he believes schools are “out of their lane” on many issues today and that the policy “increases the risk of an issue in a bathroom with an assault or otherwise.”
Flack also said that the temperature among parents in Stillwater is “pretty hot” for those who are speaking out on the issue and pointed to a video of Oklahoma House candidate Brice Chaffin being thrown out from a school board meeting by police while reading a Bible verse.
He also shared a website, StillwaterParents.orgwhich call on Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma legislature to create “a law stating that biological males have no right to access locker rooms, bathrooms, or any other intimate space reserved for biological females.”
The website also demands the Stillwater Board of Education “amend its policy to protect biological female students.”
Chaffin, who home schools his four children, called the issue a “women’s rights issue” in a phone call with Fox News Digital and said the girls in the school district “have a right to privacy, modesty, safety.”
The state House candidate said that when he was thrown out of the school board meeting, he was talking about the “different forms of laws that exist, whether acknowledged or not, such as “physical laws, spiritual and natural law,” and “God’s law.” Chaffin said that he was explaining “God’s law” to the school board when reading scripture to them.
“That’s when I was cut off by the school board early,” Chaffin said. “They openly mocked me, laughed at me.”
“The school board members were the ones who were laughing while I was speaking, which I thought was terribly unprofessional, then I was escorted out by the police,” he continued.
Chaffin said that the issue has since “blown up” from a “women’s rights issue” into “a First Amendment issue,” adding that him being shut down while reading scripture was “the stuff” of dictators.
Pastor Rusty Rhodes, a grandfather to kids in the Stillwater school system who was present when Chaffin was thrown out of the meeting, agreed with Chaffin that the controversy was a “women’s rights issue.”
“What about all of the girls that are uncomfortable with a boy that’s got all the male genitals coming in the restroom?” Rhodes said in a phone call with Fox News Digital. “Don’t they have a right to say, ‘Hey, hey, wait a minute, this is my space?'”
“That’s a woman’s right, too,” the pastor added.
Rhodes also said he called on the state’s education officials in a letter to “not wait until your daughter, your granddaughter is assaulted before” they do their “job” and “protect” his granddaughter, and said he believes “the bottom line is nobody wants to lose federal money.”
“Follow the dollars,” the pastor said. “But I can tell you, there’s no dollar that’s worth our children.”
Stitt, at Republican, blasted the school board’s decision as being “wrong” on “every single level.”
“There are biological differences between male and female and teenage boys should not be given open access to a girls bathroom or locker room,” Stitt told Fox News Digital. “The Biden administration’s attempt to indoctrinate our young people with radical ideas about gender and sex is risking the safety of young girls and I will not allow it in Oklahoma.”
“I know Attorney General John O’Connor is ready to defend this if needed, but frankly I am shocked that a statewide elected official in Oklahoma would risk putting young girls in an unsafe situation,” he continued.
Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters agreed with the governor, saying it “is unconscionable that the Stillwater School Board is putting our children in danger for the sake of ‘wokeness.'”
“Specifically, they are putting children in grave danger with their bathroom policies,” Walters said. “Leftists like the ones in Stillwater are abusing court precedent and wielding a blatant misinterpretation of Title IX to push their agenda of letting biological males use girls’ restrooms. This is not Oklahoma values.”
Walters also sent letters to the Stillwater Board of Education and Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor regarding the issue.
The Oklahoma families’ concerns come as the country sees controversial education policies at both the federal and state levels.
New Jersey made headlines last week after it was revealed the state would be implementing educational standards that taught gender theory to second-graders.
Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said he would “entertain” ideas to change the curriculum.
Neither Hofmeister nor the Stillwater Board of Education members immediately responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.