North Carolina continues its dissent from the rest of the nation, regressing to days of old in its discriminatory ways. House Bill 2 got the ball rolling, inciting outrage across the nation. Millions of dollars in revenue for the state have been stalled, and hundreds of job opportunities have gone out the door. North Carolina continued to backtrack when their rebuttal involved suing the Department of Justice, and now a school system in-state has taken it a step further.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education adopted a policy allowing high school students to carry pepper spray this fall. The purpose behind the rule: for self-defense against transgender classmates. “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,” board member Chuck Hughes said, according to the Salisbury Post. While it will not take effect until the upcoming school year, even more unbearable publicity is expected after this additional grotesque policy coming out of North Carolina. The district is home to over 19,000 students and eight high schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The board is firm in its defense, pointing toward the blinding spray’s inability to kill. “Having been pepper sprayed numerous times and being a school resource officer, the baseball bats that your baseball team brings every day to school is a bigger weapon than a canister of pepper spray, that’s my thinking on it,” board member Travis Allen said, according to WBTV. “A chair from the cafeteria is a bigger weapon than a can of pepper spray, so that’s my thinking on that.”
The board later said it will review the decision at a meeting later in the month of May. Josh Wagner, Board Chairman, has since spoken out against Hughes’s train of thought, however, telling the Huffington Post: “This discussion in no way addressed the issue that Mr. Hughes brought up.” Hughes later told BuzzFeed that he will change his vote, stating he believes that his previous comments were “inappropriate” and that he did not mean for them to be related to the LGBT community. “Perverts and pedophiles taking advantage of this law in bathrooms was my major concern.”
Do not expect the House Bill 2 controversy to depart from headlines anytime soon, and until then the target Pat McCrory has placed on all of North Carolina’s back will remain there.