Another group of parents sue to protect students
Renee Carlson, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, says parents in the Virginia School District formed the group Privacy Matters to fight the new rule announced earlier this year.
ADF is representing the group, the first to form in the state. The lawsuit was filed against the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, which have determined that the Title IX rule that demands equal funding for women’s sports teams also ensures equal access for transgendered students.
“This case is about ensuring the privacy and dignity of all students because all children matter, quite frankly,” Carlson says.
Those parents are following in the legal footsteps of Illinois parents, 51 families in all, who filed suit in May in the first legal challenge. ADF is involved in that lawsuit along with the Thomas More Society.
The parents in Illinois filed suit after Palatine school officials, afraid of losing federal dollars, caved to the Title IX interpretation after first pushing back.
“Palatine officials — facing the loss of $6 million in federal funding — ultimately decided to allow a transgender student to change in the girls locker room instead of sending her down the hall to a separate facility,” The Washington Post explained in a May story.
The school district in Minnesota also failed to fight the federal agencies, forcing the parents to take action on their own.
“It’s really a commonsense issue,” says the ADF attorney. “Boys and girls shouldn’t be forced by the schools or the federal government to undress in locker rooms or showers against their will.”
The lawsuit gives one example: a biologically male student who was allowed into the girls’ locker room and proceeded to dance in an explicitly sexual manner.
“But this isn’t just about that one student,” Carlson says. “It’s about the privacy of all students, just ensuring that all the students are protected by the school.”