A transgender tennis coach, Sasha Yates, has been rehired by the Gettysburg Area School District in Pennsylvania despite some local parental objections.
The school board’s decision came with a 6-2 vote on Sept. 5, following an earlier 3-3 tie. Previously, Yates had been given a memo from Gettysburg High School’s Principal, Jeremy Lusk, highlighting concerns about upholding “professional boundaries” according to Pennlive.com.
Yates faced parental concerns over allegedly entering the girl’s locker room and discussing topics like undergarments and menstruation with students. There were also accusations of Yates changing clothes in front of young female students. It’s noted however, according to The Gettysburg Times, that Yates acknowledged changing in the locker room but emphasized that it was done in a private area.
Parents interviewed noted that Yates is “stilly fully a man,” meaning that yes, he still has a penis and was changing near young girls.
The Gettysburg Area School was alerted multiple times about potential legal consequences of discriminating based on “gender identity” if they dismissed a transgender coach.
Janet Riggs from the Gettysburg Borough Human Relations Commission emphasized the importance of aligning the school’s practices with the borough’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which explicitly opposes such discrimination.
Discrepancies exist between the accounts given by Yates and a concerned parent regarding events in the locker room. Concerns, however, that are entirely focused on Yates’ behavior, irrespective of what he pretends to be or how he lives his life.
Opinion is certainly split on Yates. The captain of the boys’ team, Tristan Smith, who was helping coach girls in Yates’ absence, blamed “transphobia” for the controversy:
“I cannot stand here and refuse to acknowledge that blatant transphobia is the main motivation behind this commotion.”
While some have voiced support for rehiring Yates, concerns were raised about why a previously offered single-occupancy changing room was not used.