05/27/2016 03:04 pm ET

Dad Yanks Children Out Of School Over Transgender Bathroom Policy

Matt Stewart said his three sons won't return until they are no longer "humiliated."

A Michigan father says he's yanked his three sons out of a public elementary school over the district's decision to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Matt Stewart told The Detroit Free Press that his 9-year-old son came home from Southwest Elementary School in Howell, Michigan, on May 20 and informed him that "there was a girl in the [boys'] bathroom." Stewart said his son, and other boys, were told to stand closer to the urinals when using the restroom, while the transgender student was instructed to "look at the wall."

In addition, Stewart said his son was told he could use a single-use restroom if he felt uncomfortable. But the father told local network WDIV-TV that he was "frustrated" that parents had not been notified that the school district was implementing the Obama administration's directive to extend civil rights for transgender people.

Issued May 13, the directive requires public schools to allow trans students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity or risk losing federal funds. 

As a result, Stewart told WDIV-TV May 26, “My children are having to choose between embarrassment and intimidation.” He responded by pulling the three children, who are all under the age of 10, from Southwest Elementary until the school puts "a policy in place that keeps them from being humiliated or intimidated." 

Officials at Southwest Elementary School have not yet replied to The Huffington Post's request for comment. However, a letter sent home to parents and cited by ABC affiliate WXYZ Detroit noted that transgender bathroom use was "a new and rapidly developing area of law." 

"Howell Public Schools intends to comply with its legal obligations in this, as well as all other, respects," the letter continued. "Measures will, therefore, be implemented consistent with this guidance in a way which ensures the safety, privacy, and dignity of all involved.”



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