ARCADIA, CA, July 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Obama administration’s Justice Department has pressured a California school district into allowing an incoming high school freshman who is anatomically female but identifies as a boy to use the restroom and changing facilities assigned to her preferred sex, rather than her biological sex.
Her family filed a federal discrimination lawsuit after the school district twice refused to allow the girl to sleep in a room with boys without a chaperone.
The Obama administration pressured the school district to allow the girl to use the boys' facilities, saying in a letter that failure to do so constitutes sexual discrimination against “students who do not conform to sex stereotypes.”
Under a new agreement, every transgender student in the district will have full access to the opposite sex's changing rooms and sleeping quarters during school trips.
On Wednesday, after two years of investigation by the DOJ, the school district agreed to a settlement in which they admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to submit to the demands of the girl’s family, along with several additional DOJ orders,.
Now, not only must Arcadia school officials give the girl unrestricted access to the boys’ facilities, they must also give her access to private facilities if and when she requests them.
The district must also allow her to participate in any boys-only activities she desires, both on- and off-campus, and seal all records of her birth sex and previous name to protect her new identity as a boy.
These orders apply not just to the girl in this case, but to any students who approach school administrators in the future claiming to be a different sex than their biology suggests.
The district and its administrators will be subject to continued monitoring by the DOJ and Department of Education through 2016 to ensure they comply.
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The girl, whose name has been withheld to protect her privacy, has been living as a male with her parents’ complicity since she was in fifth grade. In 2011, her parents filed a complaint with the civil rights office of the U.S. Department of Education, arguing that the Arcadia Unified School District had violated federal anti-discrimination laws by requiring their daughter to sleep in her own room with a parental chaperone on two separate field trips instead of with the boys.
“While [name] was in fifth grade, [name] and [her] family made the decision that [she] would officially transition to living as male on a full-time basis at the beginning of sixth grade,” the complaint read. “That year the entire fifth grade went on an overnight field trip to a science camp. AUSD had arranged for [name] to attend the camp with [her] mother. They were placed in a room together in the girls' cabin, while the rest of [her] friends were able to bunk with their peers.”
“For [name] the trip was a disaster,” the complaint continued. “[Name’s] female peers taunted [her] relentlessly referring to him as ‘it’ and attempting to block [her] from entering the girls' cabin because of [her] ambiguous gender. Each night, [name] cried [her]self to sleep.”
The girl’s parents say the taunting drove them to accelerate their daughter’s transformation in order to “end all speculation and ambiguity.” They cut off her hair and got a court order to change her name. By the time she went to middle school the following year, she was living full time as a boy, “with a whole new group of students who never knew [her] as a girl.”
But in seventh grade, there was another overnight field trip scheduled.
“[Name] was excited for the trip,” read the complaint, “believing that [she] would not experience any of the problems [she] had during the fifth-grade trip because now [she] was a boy. What made the trip even more exciting is that AUSD informed the students that no parents would be allowed on the trip, the chaperons would be camp employees and teachers.”
But the district said that in order for the girl to go, she would have to bunk in a separate room and have a parent along to chaperone.
After an evening of sobbing in her room, “[name] resorted to planning the lies [she] would tell [her] friends to cover for the discriminatory treatment [she] was being forced to endure, an exercise that was unfortunately all too familiar to [her],” according to her parents.
Three weeks before the field trip, her parents sued, demanding the school district allow their daughter “to bunk with [her] buddies in the boys’ cabin and without [her] father being present.”
The school district refused, citing a state law permitting the maintenance of separate facilities for the two biological sexes, along with a California Department of Education legal advisory stating that the law “balances the gender self-perceptions of particular students against the privacy and perceptions of other students and sets a reasonable limit on ‘transgender’ rights.”
In response, the girl’s parents filed a federal civil rights complaint, alleging the district violated federal anti-discrimination laws by not allowing their daughter to sleep in the boys’ bunk without a parent present.
In addition to giving transgender students access to the opposite sex's restrooms and changing facilities, the settlement requires the district to provide all such students with “support teams” upon request, who will help the students work with school administrators to ensure their wishes concerning their gender identity are honored.
Additionally, the DOJ has ordered the district to add “gender discrimination” to its anti-discrimination rules, provide sensitivity training for its staff, and inform students, staff and faculty that discrimination based on “gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, transgender status, or gender nonconformity” is strictly forbidden.