Schoolchildren are so terrified about a new transgender restroom policy in one U.S. county, they're not going to the bathroom "all day long," according to a pastor and grandfather blasting local officials.
Pastor Anthony Cooper of Life Church in Shelby, Ohio, is among 100 clergies speaking against the policy in the Shelby City School District that allows students to use whichever bathroom corresponds to their gender identity.
"[I'm] ... really devastated about what is taking place," Cooper said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
"We're finding out that many of them won't even go to the bathroom all day long because they are afraid to go to the restrooms."
Once parents were made aware of the policy, local clergy signed a letter to the district indicating, "We will not sacrifice the safety and privacy of children on the altar of political correctness."
"It is our understanding ... concerned parents have compiled statements from at least ten different female students who feel unsafe using school restrooms," the letter continued.
Cooper said the issue was not discrimination against LGBT students, but rather protecting the safety of children.
"We're not against the LGBT community. There's no hate here whatsoever," he said.
"We want our community to be safe. We want our kids to be safe. It's not really about the church. It's not really about the adults. It's about keeping our kids safe."
"The president of the board ... [said] that the… kids aren't saying nothing. Well, we have found out the kids are scared to say anything. It doesn't do any good. And so they're not listening to the children."
"In all the school systems, probably the most unsecured areas are your restrooms, your shower rooms, and your locker rooms where there can't be any monitoring or cameras."
During a school board meeting in Shelby in December, one 12-year-old girl voiced her concern, saying, "I do not want to walk into a restroom and be scared about who I will see in there."
"Girls spend more time in the restroom and are more vulnerable."
Cooper also spoke at the meeting, urging board members to quit if they couldn't protect students.
"If you cannot protect the security and privacy of our students, I am calling for you to resign. We could easily get the churches to start another school and take our kids out of Shelby schools. This is our town too," he said at the time.
"I think somewhere down the line, we have to realize communication is what starts it and this is what we're doing right now. We are bringing it to the attention of our community," the pastor told Fox.
"They need to know that there is somebody out here that will listen to them, that will love them. We're not here to judge. We're here to love them."
"Being a young person was always hard. There's a lot of changes to go through ... We've made it harder for them."