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Published On: Mon, Nov 2nd, 2015

New York bathroom rules under attack after allowing opposite sexes in locker rooms, sharing restrooms

Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the Le Roy Central School District Board of Education that asks it to reverse a recent decision by district staff to allow students to use locker rooms and restrooms of the opposite sex. The letter provides a suggested policy that addresses the school district’s concerns about discrimination without allowing the sharing of restrooms.

The ADF letter explains that no federal law requires public schools to allow boys into girls’ restrooms or girls into boys’ restrooms. In fact, as the letter notes, the district could be exposing itself to legal liability for violating students’ right to bodily privacy.

This image is from a collection commissioned by the United States Department of Transportation and designed by AIGA.

This image is from a collection commissioned by the United States Department of Transportation and designed by AIGA.

“Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it’s a school district’s duty,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “Letting boys into girls’ locker rooms and restrooms is an invasion of privacy and a threat to student safety.”

In December 2014, ADF sent public school districts nationwide a similar letter that it has now provided to Le Roy Central School District. All of the ADF letters cite pertinent legal precedent, including court rulings that support the ability of public schools to limit restrooms to members of the same sex for privacy and safety reasons without violating Title IX, a federal law concerning sex discrimination in public school programs and activities.

“Allowing students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms would seriously endanger students’ privacy and safety, undermine parental authority, prejudice religious students’ free exercise rights, and severely impair an environment conducive to learning,” the ADF letter to Le Roy Central School District explains. “ADF’s policy allows schools to accommodate students with unique privacy needs, including transgender students, while also protecting other students’ privacy and free exercise rights, and parents’ right to educate their children.”

The ADF letter also offers to evaluate the situation and potentially offer free legal assistance if anyone files a lawsuit against the recommended policy.

“Schools can accommodate a small number of students that have different needs without compromising the rights of other children and their parents,” added ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “No child should be forced into an intimate setting – like a bathroom or a locker room – with a child of the opposite sex.”

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  1. blankman says:

    Fact is NY doesn’t have much choice. Their rules simply mirror federal law.

    “The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has instructed schools nationwide that sex-discrimination prohibitions in federal law include protections for gender identity. As such, under federal civil rights law, the district is required to provide access to public facilities consistent with the student’s gender identity.”

    And it’s not just New York. “In 2013, the family of transgender girl Coy Mathis successfully won the right for their daughter to use the girls’ bathroom at her school in Colorado. Similarly, Nicole Maines won a lawsuit against her school just last year where they school district had to pay her and her family $75,000 because she was forced to use a unisex bathroom instead of the girl’s room at her school.”

    On a similar note OSHA has issued a directive that says employers must grant employees access to the washroom that corresponds to their gender identity (not their birth sex).

  2. ChloeAlexa Landry says:

    Your Masthead if realistic should have repeated this from Boston recently, and covers the Bully BIGOT ADF’s statements.

    Opponents have pushed the bathroom panic button again. Even though, as Attorney General Maura Healey said at an October hearing, there hasn’t been a single recorded incident of somebody using the protections to commit crimes — not in any of the states, or the 225 cities (including 13 in Massachusetts), that have public accommodation laws.

    Minnesota is also one of the states.
    ChloeAlexa Minneapolis.

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