More students challenge PA school's trans-inclusive policy

More students challenge PA school's trans-inclusive policy

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Three high-school students joined a classmate and his parents in a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania school district that stood by its trans-inclusive policies.

In a federal lawsuit against the Boyertown Area School District, a student claims his privacy was violated while he was getting changed in a locker room with a transgender male student. The three additional students who joined the suit this week claim their privacy will also be violated by the school's policy allowing students to use facilities that correspond to their gender identity, according to statements from Alliance Defending Freedom and the Independence Law Center.

“A woman’s bodily privacy is hers and hers alone, and a man’s bodily privacy is his and his alone, and they don’t disappear or come into existence based on the beliefs of a person of the opposite sex,” ILC Senior Counsel Jeremy Samek said in a statement.

The complainant, identified as Joel Doe in legal documents, alleged that a student was in the boy’s locker room wearing shorts and a bra on or about Oct. 31. According to the complaint, Doe, his parents and classmates spoke with school officials who told them students had the right to use facilities corresponding with their gender identity.

Doe is seeking a jury trial for privacy violation as well as “anxiety, stress, intimidation, fear, apprehension and loss of dignity,” according to the complaint.

“Respect means protecting the personal privacy of each student, not taking it away,” Samek added. “It’s regrettable that still more students must ask a federal judge to ensure that their well-established privacy rights aren’t tossed aside.”

Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed to intervene on behalf of a transgender student and the Pennsylvania Youth Congress.

“The Boyertown Area School District did the right thing in affirming and respecting their students’ gender identity,” ACLU of Pennsylvania Executive Director Reggie Shuford said in a statement. “To foster a positive learning environment, students need an atmosphere that is supportive and respectful of who they are. Boyertown did that and we intend to defend that practice in the interests of our clients.”

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