The U.S. Supreme Court likely will consider the case of a school district that has taken away the privacy rights of the vast majority of students to provide special rights to a few.
The few contend they are of the opposite sex. That is, some boys say they are girls, and some girls say they are boys. And when they demanded the right to use the rest rooms and locker facilities of their choice, the school, Boyertown Area School District, simply said yes.
A lawsuit has been under way since the Obama administration and a judge – and now the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals – have vetoed the majority’s rights to privacy.
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 school did not update their policies.
Jeremy Samek, who has been working on the case with the counsel 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 Third 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.
Alexis Lightcap, a student at Boyertown Area Senior High School who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, added: “Today’s ruling was very disappointing, and made me feel – again – like my voice was not heard. Every student’s privacy should be protected.”
ADF has created a video in which Holcolmb explains the problem:
It was the original trial court judge, U.S. District Judge Edward Smith, who ruled that the school could expose students in intimate settings to those of the opposite sex.
His decision came after students objected to the district’s decision to abruptly, without notice, open the boys’ restrooms to girls who say they are boys, and the girls’ facilities to boys who say they are girls.
Several students who were exposed to other students of the opposite sex sued the district and asked for a preliminary order to protect their privacy and modesty while the court case plays out.
Smith refused to allow them any protection, and the Third Circuit has adopted his reasoning.
WND reported one year ago when the district itself suddenly became concerned about “student privacy.”
That was when officials in the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania revealed that their board met and “unanimously approved a proposal by an area architectural firm to study how to possibly enhance student privacy in the high school’s locker and restrooms.”
The district statement said the study will focus on the high school but could “result in the establishment of a district-wide prototype for existing and future buildings.”
Supt. Richard Faidley, who was sued, noted in the statement that the plan will “evaluate the feasibility of modifying existing, multi-user high school facilities to enhance the level of privacy for all students.”
In the statement he said: “This is one case where not being first is a benefit. So the firm will be able to benefit from best practices, and also work affordably, in its planning and design.”
One of the plaintiffs, a male student, encountered a partly clothed female in the locker room, and when he notified school managers, they told him he must “tolerate” the presence of a female and make changing clothes with students of the opposite sex as “natural” as possible.
In another instance, “Mary Smith” entered a girls restroom to find a male student washing his hands in the sink, and when she notified school officials they told her “the student could now use restrooms or locker rooms with her since he identifies as a girl.”
She was told there were no other options.