Parents drop transgender bathroom suit after judge denies girls’ right to ‘visual bodily privacy’
PALATINE, Illinois, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― An Illinois parents’ group has dropped its legal battle to keep males out of a school districts’ female-only spaces.
According to the Chicago Herald Tribune, U.S. district judge Jorge Alonso approved the dismissal on Monday, ending the attempt of “Students and Parents for Privacy” to force Township High School District 211 to abandon its policy of allowing students who identify as “transgender” to choose to enter biologically opposite-sex washrooms and locker rooms.
At one point during the lawsuit, Alonso notoriously denied that teenage girls have the right not to be ogled while undressing. To students’ arguments that they had a right to “bodily privacy that protects their partially or fully unclothed bodies,” Alonso declared that the Supreme Court ruling on the matter referred to a right not to touched ― “physical bodily integrity” ― “not visual bodily privacy.”
The Herald Tribune noted that a “transgender” student who has since graduated from high school is still suing District 211, “claiming its policies on locker room access were too restrictive.”
A spokesman for District 211 confirmed that its policy would continue to support the choices of males who identify as girls over the modesty of females.
“The District will continue our practices of affirming and supporting the identity of our students with access to bathrooms and locker rooms” is how spokesman Tom Petersen phrased it.
Students and Parents for Privacy comprises 52 families, numbering 136 parents and students. It is not known why they have dropped their suit.
The ACLU of Illinois, who had represented transgender students against the females, insisted that transgender students do no harm by sharing locker rooms with members of the sex they identify with.
The District 211 battle began when a male who identifies as transgender filed a Civil Rights complaint in an attempt to be allowed to use the girls’ locker room. Eventually, the Department of Education ruled that District 211 was in violation of Title IX, which forbids discrimination in schools based on sex. According to the Students and Parents for Privacy lawsuit, “The DOE threatened District 211 with the loss of $6 million of federal funding if it did not give a biologically male student (‘Student A’), who perceives himself to be female, the right of entry to, and use of, the girls’ locker rooms.”
Some parents and students resisted the innovation.
According to Lexi Lonas, writing for the “College Fix” website, high school girls were surprised when the male who wished access to their locker room first appeared.
“The district changed the policy without telling parents or students, and girls found out ’when they walked into their restroom and came face-to-face with Student A,’ the male student who identifies as female,” Lonas wrote.
Student A was not entirely successful in hiding the realities of his sex from female users of female-only spaces.
“Before the girls’ locker room was opened to Student A but after the restrooms were, a non-plaintiff girl ‘who had been sexually assaulted previously’ saw Student A’s penis,” Lonas reported.
In the lawsuit (available here), Students and Parents for Privacy stated that girls forced to share their female-only spaces with Student A suffered “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation, and loss of dignity” every day they went to school “because they [had] to use the locker room and restroom with a biological male.”
“They are afraid of being seen by, and being forced to share intimate spaces with, a male while they are in various states of undress,” the suit read, adding that the girls were also afraid they would “have to see a male in a state of undress.”
The lawsuit continued: “The girls are afraid of having to attend to their most personal needs, especially during a time when their body is undergoing often embarrassing changes as they transition from childhood to adulthood, in a locker room or restroom with a male present.”
The girls’ comfort at school was greatly compromised as they ran around between classes trying to find an empty washroom or hurriedly undressed in their locker rooms. One girl chose to wear her gym clothes under her street clothes all day to ensure she would not be seen changing by Student A.
“These negative effects on the girls’ access to educational opportunities, benefits, programs, and activities at their school are a direct result of DOE’s adoption and enforcement of the legislative rule redefining the term ‘sex’ in Title IX to include gender identity, the Locker Room Agreement following from that rule, and District 211’s Restroom Policy,” the plaintiffs stated.