A Pennsylvania school district that was sued for deliberately allowing a girl into a boys’ locker room, causing embarrassment and humiliation for a boy already changing his clothes there, on Wednesday doubled down on its advocacy for transgenderism.
When contacted by WND on Tuesday about the case, the district said it was evaluating the issue.
Then on Wednesday, it released a statement that the boy in the lawsuit was offered “reasonable and appropriate alternatives when he voiced opposition to changing in a designated male locker room being used by a [female] transgender student.”
The district told WND: “We also discussed those options with his guardians, explaining that at the time we were following the law of the land. Even though the federal government’s position has changed since then, we are now guided by a recent federal court ruling in a Pennsylvania case, and await additional guidance from the state of Pennsylvania.”
The law of the land cited by the school, however, apparently was nothing more than a rule issued by the Obama administration demanding that public schools open their girls’ showers to boys and vice versa.
The order already has been reversed by the Trump administration.
The district, however, made it clear that a student who objects to being exposed to the opposite sex in a state of undress during school physical education functions must be the one responsible for an “alternative arrangement.”
The district statement complains, “According to the claims, the district could not by law permit a transgender student to use any facility, such as a bath or locker room, designated for males or females.”
The statement didn’t address the long-held practice of having those who are physically male use facilities designated for the male gender, and the same for females.
“The district … contests the claims and will appropriately respond and defend its actions that we believe were consistent and compliant with the law.
“Working with our solicitor, and seeking guidance from authorities that include the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the administration and school board continues to focus on our mission and meeting the educational needs of all individuals.”
The case cites the 14th Amendment, Title IX, invasion of seclusion and the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949, which requires separate facilities on the basis of sex, and alleges school officials knowingly violated “a child’s fundamental right to bodily privacy contrary to constitutional and statutory principles.”
The case was brought by lawyers with the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Independence Law Center against the district, Faidley, principal Brett Cooper and assistant principal E. Wayne Foley on behalf of a student identified only as “Joel Doe,” by and through his guardians.
ADF and ILC explained the high school boy “was exposed involuntarily to an undressed female student while he was changing in his school’s locker room.”
“Without any notice to students or parents, the school district secretly opened its schools’ sex-specific restrooms and locker rooms to students of the opposite sex. When the student, identified in the lawsuit as ‘Joel Doe,’ was standing in his underwear about to put on his gym clothes, he suddenly noticed that a female student, also in a state of undress, was in the locker room,” the legal groups said.
“The male student brought a complaint to school officials, who informed him that they now allow students who subjectively identify themselves as the opposite sex to choose whichever locker room they wish to use. He asked officials to protect his privacy, but they instead told him twice that he must ‘tolerate’ it and make changing with students of the opposite sex as ‘natural’ as he can.”
The complaint explains the practice “has had a severe and negative impact on plaintiff.”
“Plaintiff has experienced embarrassment and humiliation, both in terms of being viewed and viewing a student of the opposite sex in a state of undress and because of the stigmatization and criticism he received from other students and adults, fueled by the administration’s policy and actions,” the complaint says.
“He also fears the future embarrassment of meeting students of the opposite sex in the bathroom when simply relieving himself. He now avoids using the restroom during the school day because of the ongoing risk of having his privacy violated,” it states.
ADF Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek said the nation’s “laws and customs have long recognized that we shouldn’t have to undress in front of persons of the opposite sex.”
“But now some schools are forcing our children into giving up their privacy rights even though, in this case, Pennsylvania law requires schools to have separate facilities on the basis of sex,” Fiedorek said.
It was Oct. 31, 2016, when Joel Doe was changing into clothing for a required physical education class when he noticed a girl also changing in the room. She was wearing “nothing but shorts and a bra.”
He dressed quickly, left and complained, along with other classmates, to Foley, whose response included the statement that biological gender did not matter.
“Minors have a fundamental right to be free from state compelled risk of exposure of their bodies, or their intimate activities,” the complaint explains to the school. “Doe was subjected to harassment because the practice allows biological females to use the boys’ locker rooms and restrooms, which creates a harassing hostile environment specifically on the basis of the sex of the persons involved.
“Differences in anatomy … do not disappear when biological females self-identify as males, and vice versa.”
The conflict turned into a nationwide dispute when Obama decided that “sex” as used in various 1970s laws meant the “sex” that a person believes themselves to be, unrelated to a physical characteristic. His assumption that that’s what Congress meant when it wrote those laws would mean that a boy who says he’s a girl would have full, legally protected, access to the girls’ showers in a school.