A group of Pennsylvania students has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect their “bodily privacy” in school by overturning their school district’s transgender-inclusive bathroom and locker room policy.
Represented by the conservative nonprofit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, the group of anonymous students filed an appeal with the nation’s highest court on Monday, asking it to overturn a ruling from the Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals favoring the Boyertown Area School District.
The students sued the school district after it decided in the 2016-2017 school year to change its policy to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
The school district’s policy change came after the Obama administration sent out a guidance in 2016 (that has since been rescinded by the Trump administration) to public school districts nationwide, urging them to allow boys who identify as girls to use the girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms and showers, and vice versa.
According to ADF, the BASD changed its policy without informing parents or students, which led some students to find out about the policy while they were getting undressed in front of other students of the opposite sex who were in the same locker room.
“Embarrassed and confused, petitioner Joel Doe went to school officials, and the officials said to try and act ‘natural,’” the lawsuit explains. “Joel Doe was marked down in gym class for failing to change his clothes, and he eventually felt forced to leave the school entirely.”
In June, a three-judge panel on the Third Circuit ruled that a U.S. District Court “correctly concluded” that the student’s claims for privacy rights were not “likely to succeed on the merits.”
Furthermore, the Third Circuit panel asserted that the school had adopted a “very thoughtful and carefully tailored policy” to “address some very real issues while faithfully discharging its obligation to maintain a safe and respectful environment in which everyone can both learn and thrive.”
In the appeal to the Supreme Court, ADF argued that the Third Circuit’s decision is faulty because the Supreme Court has “long recognized the need for separating male and female students in locker rooms, restrooms, and showers.”
The appeal also states that the Third Circuit “decided that a male who identifies as a female is, in fact, female, and vice versa.” As well, ADF asserts that the “the court criticized Petitioners for declining to embrace the view that their right not to be viewed undressed by members of the opposite sex depends entirely on what another person believes about their own gender.”
“Forcing a teenager to share a locker room or restroom with a member of the opposite sex can cause embarrassment and distress, particularly for students who have been victims of
sexual assault,” the appeal states. “Recognizing this reality does not diminish
concern for students who believe they are of the opposite sex.”
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Source: Christian Post