It’s understandable that public school administrators sometimes are confused by the social agendas activists demand of them.
After all, the Obama administration, in a move that violated the privacy rights of millions of students, ordered public schools to allow a boy who says he is a girl, or vice versa, into the restroom or shower of choice.
Then President Trump was elected, and he reversed Obama’s requirement.
However, Trump’s order didn’t make the issue go away, and the latest district caught up in the controversy is the Sutherlin School District in Oregon.
A girl there has started using the boys’ restroom, declaring to school officials she’s doing it, “Because I can.”
In response, a lawsuit has been filed against the district over the infringement of the privacy rights of the other students.
The Pacific Justice Institute is defending the students.
“This case isn’t about prejudice toward transgender people,” said Brad Dacus, PJI president. “It’s about privacy and personal dignity for all. It’s completely understandable that kids would feel uncomfortable having to undress, shower, or use the toilet or urinal around people of the opposite sex, and schools shouldn’t force them to do so.
“Certain parts of the body are called ‘private parts’ for a reason, and kids should be able to keep them private to the greatest extent possible to preserve their mental and emotional safety. PJI is determined to keep fighting on this issue until what was once common sense for human dignity and privacy prevails.”
The case in Oregon Circuit Court for Douglas County is against the Sutherlin district, Supt. Terry Prestianni and high school principal Justin Huntley.
It’s on behalf of T.B., a sophomore at the school who was in the boys restroom when the girl entered “even though Sutherlin High had made single-stalled restrooms available to her and the nearest girls’ restroom was completely empty.”
“When Sutherlin High’s assistant principal asked her why she used the boys’ restroom, she responded simply, ‘Because I can.'”
Later, the school issued a memo to parents and guardians “stating that the district would do nothing to prevent this student or others like her from using bathrooms designated for the opposite sex in the future.”
While Prestianni “claimed that Oregon state law requires SSD to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice … PJI discovered that Oregon law requires no such thing – in fact, Oregon law recognizes that individuals have a legally protected privacy interest even in commonly shared bathrooms, and that interest protects males from having females see their private parts without their consent.”
The issue could go before the U.S. Supreme Court after a 3rd Circuit ruling involving the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania.
In the case, which has been under way since the Obama administration, a judge and later the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the privacy rights of students.
President Obama ordered public schools that wanted to continue to receive federal funding to open their facilities according to “gender identity.” President Trump reversed the order, but some schools did not update their policies.
Jeremy Samek, who has been working on the case for the Independence Law Center, said the issue isn’t hard to understand.
“The district’s new policy permits a student to unilaterally eliminate the privacy rights of other students based simply on that student’s beliefs about gender. A person’s privacy rights are theirs and theirs alone. Beliefs about gender shouldn’t be a license to violate privacy inside boys’ or girls’ locker rooms and restrooms. That defeats the very purpose of sex-separated facilities.”
Christiana Holcomb of the the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented students suing the school district, said an appeal of the 3rd Circuit’s decision is under consideration.
“The Supreme Court has already spoken: The real differences between men and women mean that privacy must be protected where it really counts, and that certainly includes high school locker rooms and restrooms. This decision is out of step with longstanding legal protection for privacy. We will continue advocating for these young students,” she said.
ADF has created a video in which Holcolmb explains the problem: