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Conway School Board to meet with attorney Wednesday about restroom policy, vacancy

The Conway School Board has called a “work session” for Wednesday afternoon to review a proposed restroom policy that could effectively out some transgender students.

The board’s attorney will participate in the meeting, which is open to the public under state law.

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The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and is to end at 2:30 p.m. in the school district’s administrative building on Prince Street near the high school. Coincidentally or not, the meeting will take place when most people, including teachers and students, are at work or in class.

“The work sessions are public meetings, but the board is not allowed to take any action during board work sessions, only regular meetings. So no formal action will be taken at that time,” school district spokeswoman Heather Kendrick said in an email today.

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When two or more board members gather, that’s a meeting under Arkansas law, and matters not dealing with personnel issues are open to the public.

Last week’s meeting where the restroom and overnight trip proposals were discussed was moved to the school’s auditorium in expectation of the large crowd attending.

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The proposal that has generated more controversy would force students, teachers and staff to choose a private restroom if they no longer felt comfortable using the restroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate. The other proposal deals with overnight trips.

Kendrick has said the school district’s central office had received no prior complaints of cross-gender restroom use.

A similar restroom policy cost Virginia taxpayers $1.3 million in legal costs last year after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Virginia school district’s appeal of a transgender bathroom ban.

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