MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Amid a national debate over the use of bathrooms by transgender students in schools across the country, one Myrtle Beach church leader is taking the issue into his own hands.
His idea was sparked by a directive from the White House a few weeks ago insisting that schools allow transgender students be able to use whatever bathroom they want.
Pastor Frank Policastro, with Real Life Church, said he wanted to offer families another option.
"I wouldn't say we're taking advantage of the situation. We're providing an outlet. We're providing relief of the situation. The situation has been forced upon us, and we're simply providing relief," Policastro said.
Policastro added his newly proposed charter school will give students a safer learning environment.
"It's incumbent upon us to take the lead and provide something for parents and students who don't want their children to be involved in something like that," Policastro said.
However, Policastro says transgender students are welcome at his school, under one stipulation. They must use the bathroom that coincides with their sex at birth.
"We felt as soon as North Carolina took their stand, we immediately wrote to the governor in support," Policastro said. "When it became further that every school in the nation had to follow this, we believe it was really impeding on the rights of everyone else"
Real Life Church's proposed charter school is still in the planning stages. Policastro hopes it will be open and running by August, offering kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum through the South Carolina Public Charter School System.
"We've had a real good response, a very strong response. It was probably our largest response on the facebook page, and we're just in the beginnings now, Policastro said. "We're not bigoted in any way. In fact, we're praying for the the transgender students."
Policastro said it won't be a "Christian" school. Instead, it will be a public charter school held within the Real Life Church facility using the South Carolina Public Charter School curriculum.
Real Life Church is hoping to have an informational meeting for parents in the coming months.