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Community erupts over transgender issue

 school board 3

     Pickens Schools Supt. Dr. Carlton Wilson at a heated meeting on transgender students. The town hall forum drew a large and passionate crowd. Due to safety concerns, including death threats, student harassment, and vandalism, the district has announced they will return to bathroom procedures that were in place at the beginning of this school year until they can address safety issues. 

        Roughly 850 people turned outfor a tense town hall meeting regarding transgender bathrooms in Pickens schools, a topic that has caused public uproar and division in Pickens County over the last week.  

No issue in recent history has captured the attention of local residents as strongly as this has. The town hall meeting, which was standing room only at one of the county’s largest venues, was the biggest anyone could recall in many years. The issue has aroused much anger and confusion, spurring on death threats to top school officials.    

In anticipation of a tense meeting, enflamed by heated social media posts and comments leading up to the event, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office had over 20 deputies on duty at the Pickens High School Performing Art Center Monday, Oct. 14. 

       See full story in this week's print or online editions.