A school in Pennsylvania is being brought to court by a pair of organizations after a male student was witness to a transgender student changing in the same locker room. The student claims his “bodily privacy” was breached when he had to change next to a transgender student (who is labeled as female in the lawsuit) in the male locker room.
The case is being brought to court by two conservative faith-based organizations, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Independence Law Center. They state that the reason they’re bringing this case to court is not because the student was in the wrong locker room but rather the way the school handled the incident. The lawsuit charges that the Boyertown Area School District failed to inform students and parents of their new policies that allow students to use the corresponding locker room of their chosen gender identity. Instead, they claim the District sought to hide their new policies from the public and opened up their sex-specific bathrooms to students of the opposite sex in secret.
According to the lawsuit the male student made several requests to the administration to protect his privacy. Instead of the school taking any action they informed the student of their new policies and dismissed his claims. The student and his parents both confirm that they were never alerted to any change in policy by the school before the event took place.
In a statement, Independence Law Center chief counsel Randall Wenger said, “No school should rob any student of his legally protected personal privacy. We trust that our children won’t be forced into emotionally vulnerable situations like this when they are in the care of our schools because it’s a school’s duty to protect and respect the bodily privacy and dignity of all students. In this case, school officials are clearly ignoring that duty.”
The lawsuit against the Boyertown District claims sexual harassment occurred and broke a federal law, Title IX, violating the fundamental right to bodily privacy under the U.S. Constitution.
The Boyertown District issued a brief statement saying they had no comments at this time.
What do you think? Do schools have an obligation to alert students to these types of policy changes? Could the school have handled the situation any better?