Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Illinois families, ADF unite to fight DOE transgender rules, keep males out of girls’ locker room

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco argued in favor of a court order that would temporarily halt policies that resulted from an agreement between an Illinois school district and the U.S. Department of Education to open girls’ locker rooms to a male student.

The requested order would halt those policies at Township High School District 211 in Palatine while the lawsuit of 51 families against the policies proceeds in court.

photo John Hain

photo John Hain

“School districts have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students at their schools, yet the school district and the Department of Education have put their political preferences ahead of that and ahead of the law,” said Tedesco. “The court should suspend the district’s privacy-violating policies and order the departments of Education and Justice to stop bullying school districts into  following their unlawful interpretations of federal law.”

The district opened its schools’ restrooms to the opposite sex – without informing parents – and then opened the girls’ locker room to a boy after the DOE threatened the district’s federal funding. The agency based its threat on its unlawful interpretation of Title IX, a 1972 federal law that prohibits schools from discriminating “on the basis of sex.” Contrary to the agency’s current directives, Title IX’s existing regulations specifically state that a school receiving federal funds can “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” without putting that funding at risk.

The lawsuit, filed by families representing over 130 students and parents, contends that DOE is unlawfully redefining the terms of Title IX, something that only Congress can alter, and is illegitimately forcing its will on school districts.

“The Department of Education, which enforces Title IX to ensure girls receive an education with access to facilities comparable to boys, has created a hostile learning environment, and the school is complicit,” the ADF motion for preliminary injunction filed in May with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois states. “Ignoring legally required procedures, DOE created a rule that, for the first time, requires schools to let students use facilities according to their perceived gender, no matter their biological sex. And it enforced that rule on the District. Both DOE and the District ignore the violation of Plaintiffs’ and other students’ constitutional privacy rights.”

“Boys who perceive themselves as girls are still biologically, and anatomically, male,” the brief explains. “It violates and humiliates the girls that a boy might see them undressed, or that they might see him undressed, and that they have to share such intimate settings as a locker room or restroom. Children are not guinea pigs, and they should not be subjected to social experimentation to further political agendas as the price for a public education.”

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