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Do Personal Beliefs about Gender Trump Student Privacy Rights?

source: http://blog.adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2017/08/29/do-personal-beliefs-about-gender-trump-student-privacy-rights

 

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Student privacy should never be sacrificed to further a political agenda.

You would think that this doesn’t need to be said at all. But across the country, school districts have adopted policies that open up locker rooms, shower facilities, and even overnight accommodations to members of the opposite sex. Often, they are enacting these policies without informing their students or the parents.

That’s exactly what happened in Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania. When a high school boy was changing in the boys’ locker room, he noticed a biological girl in a bra changing in the locker room with him. When he told school officials about this encounter, they told to “tolerate” it and to act as “natural” as possible. It turns out the school district had enacted policies that allow students struggling with their gender to use the private facilities of their choice.

Unfortunately, last week, a federal court allowed these privacy violations to continue.

Odd, considering that the U.S. Constitution and Pennsylvania law protect privacy rights.

Rather than demanding that its students act “natural” when someone of the opposite sex is in their private facilities, the school should be looking out for the rights of all of its students, not just a few. There are compassionate solutions that do just that, providing separate facilities for those who need or want extra privacy.

It was guidance issued by the Obama Administration that really opened the door to these types of policies. Schools were told to allow students struggling with their gender identity to use the locker rooms, shower facilities, and restrooms of their choice – or lose federal funding.

President Donald Trump rescinded that guidance earlier this year, returning to local school districts the authority to make decisions that respect the privacy of all of their students.

And Alliance Defending Freedom will continue to advocate for the privacy rights of all students, including those attending school in the Boyertown Area School District.

“School officials should protect the bodily privacy of all students,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “Because the Boyertown District has failed to respect the privacy rights that all students have under the U.S. Constitution and Pennsylvania law, we are consulting with our clients about appealing this decision so that their rights may be protected while the lawsuit proceeds. This is important not only for our clients, but for all students within the Boyertown Area School District, as every student deserves to have their privacy and dignity respected by school officials.”


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Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.