‘No student should be forced into an intimate setting — like a locker room or shower — with someone of the opposite sex…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Parents and students in a Philadelphia school district appealed their case after a three-judge panel ruled that their privacy concerns were not as important as inclusivity.
During the 2016-17 school year, the Boyertown Area School District opened its high school locker rooms, showers, and restrooms to students of the opposite sex without informing parents or students.
Alexis Lightcap, one of the students who filed suit against the school district, said she was one of several students who involuntarily encountered students of the opposite sex undressing in the locker rooms.
Another student, identified as “Joel Doe” in the lawsuit, said he experienced “immediate confusion, embarrassment, humiliation, and loss of dignity” after walking in on a female student, who was transitioning into a male, undressing.
The male student complained to the school administration and was told the school had begun allowing students who identify as the opposite sex to choose to change in whatever locker room they choose, and that sex did not matter.
After repeatedly asking school officials to protect his privacy, the student was told to “tolerate” changing with students of the opposite sex, and to try to make it as “natural” as possible, according to ADF.
“No student should be forced into an intimate setting — like a locker room or shower — with someone of the opposite sex,” said attorney Randall Wenger, chief counsel of the Independence Law Center. “The Boyertown District could have crafted policies that respect the privacy concerns of all students and are also sensitive to the needs of individual students.
“Instead, the district failed to fulfill its responsibility and harmed students rightfully concerned about their bodily privacy. The district must correct its policy—not only for our clients, but for all students within the district.”
Lightcap said the panel’s ruling, which supported the school district’s open-bathroom policy, was “disappointing.”
“Today’s ruling was very disappointing, and made me feel—again—like my voice was not heard. Every student’s privacy should be protected,” she said.