A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit against transgender facilities in a school district to proceed, but warned the student-plaintiffs that, if the government allows boys who claim to be female to use the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms, then the girls have no right to “visual bodily privacy.”
Judge Jorge Alonso of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against the school district that adopted the Obama-era transgender policy permitting boys claiming to be female to use the girls’ bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms.
However, the judge informed the girls, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), that, “[s]o far, the right not to be seen unclothed by the opposite sex is not on the Supreme Court’s list.”
The judge wrote:
The crux of this suit is that defendants seek to affirm the claimed genders of students by allowing male students who claim female gender to use privacy facilities (i.e., bathrooms and locker rooms) designated for use by the female sex and female students who claim male gender to use privacy facilities designated for the male sex … District 211 adopted the policy solely to affirm the claimed genders of those students claiming a gender different from their sex at birth.
Alonso continued, saying the school district has adopted the policy of allowing all transgender students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and showers of their choice, while it insists all other students “must use the restrooms and locker rooms designated for their sex.”
“Before adopting the policy, District 211 did not investigate the reliability of the science underlying gender-affirmation treatments,” the judge wrote. “Nor did it make any effort to understand the impacts such a policy would have on students exposed to opposite-sex, same-gendered students in locker rooms and restrooms.”
The judge acknowledged the school district’s enforcement of the transgender policy has caused the students “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation and loss of dignity.”
The students “are at continual risk of encountering (and sometimes do encounter), without their consent, members of the opposite sex while disrobing, showering, urinating, defecating and while changing tampons and feminine napkins,” he added.
Christiana Holcomb, ADF legal counsel, said, “a compassionate approach to protecting students’ privacy” is needed.
“We welcome the court’s decision to allow key claims to move forward,” she added in a statement. “The district officially authorizes opposite-sex use of school privacy facilities, and that violates Title IX. Letting boys into girls’ showers, restrooms, and locker rooms is sexual harassment. Students should be confident that their school will protect their privacy and dignity. So far, this school district has failed to do so.”
Alonso did not allow all the claims of the plaintiffs to move forward. He threw out the students’ argument made in the case that they have the right to “bodily privacy,” saying that right refers to physically being touched by others, “not visual bodily privacy.”
Additionally, the judge dismissed the students’ claim that parents’ right to direct their children’s education applies in this case. Alonso said that right refers only to parents’ choice of type of education or schooling.
As Breitbart News reported in 2016, the district opened its schools’ bathrooms to boys claiming to be female without informing parents. Later, it allowed a boy claiming to be transgender into the girls’ locker room after the Obama administration’s Department of Education threatened the district’s federal funding in the amount of $6 million. Initially, the school district arranged for a private dressing area in the girls’ locker room for the boy, but federal officials complained the arrangement stigmatized the student. Consequently, the district allowed the boy to use the girls’ locker room openly as if he were a biological girl.
The Trump administration has rescinded the Obama administration’s policy and restored Title IX to the understanding that “sex” means biological sex – male or female – rather than perceptions or beliefs about one’s gender.
Since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, former President Barack Obama admitted his unpopular transgender policy helped to defeat Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.
As the College Fix reported, Tom Petersen, director of community relations for the school district, said, “The District will continue to defend our practices that affirm and support the identity of all our students.”
In a “backgrounder” on the case, ADF wrote, “If our government is powerful enough to command innocent school children to disrobe in the presence of opposite-sex classmates, then there will be little it will not be powerful enough to do.”
“The restroom policy and locker room agreement thus threaten our very liberty to live our lives in accordance with the most basic expectations of common decency, dignity, and privacy in our bodies,” the law firm added.
The case is Students and Parents for Privacy v. School Directors of Township High School District 211, No. 16 C 4945, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.