School board official: Kids should carry pepper spray to scare off trans people in bathrooms
A North Carolina school board member has attempted to retract comments suggesting kids use pepper spray on transgender people in bathrooms.
North Carolina’s Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education recently ruled in favour of students being allowed to carry pepper spray and mace spray into bathrooms for protection.
Board member Chuck Hughes had referenced the ‘bathroom debate’, suggesting that the use of sprays could be useful to protect young women from transgender individuals if the state’s HB2 law is struck down.
He told the Salisbury Post: “Depending on how the courts rule on the bathroom issues, it may be a pretty valuable tool to have on the female students if they go to the bathroom, not knowing who may come in.”
However, Hughes has now attempted to retract his comments.
He told Talking Points Memo: “It was a whimsical, inappropriate comment that I regret.”
I never intended to slur, disrespect or deprive the GLBT [sic] students of the rights to which they are entitled. Nor did I suggest that GLBT students were problematic.
“It is the ‘straight’ perverts within the community that concern me, people who might well take advantage of our students, straight or GLBT, in and out of school, if the ‘experiment’ initiated by Charlotte should spread, as it well might if the state loses its legal challenge.”
Board Chairman Josh Wagner insisted to Huffington Post that the “discussion in no way addressed the issue that Mr Hughes brought up” and that his comments were not a factor in the decision.
Wagner insisted the discussion centred on the safety of female students, particularly when travelling to and from school, and that it was in no way discriminatory against transgender individuals.
After media outcry, Wagner confirmed that there will be a second review of the decision to allow protective sprays within school premises.