Williamston Community Schools Board of Education (“WCS”) released a proposed policy regarding “Transgender and Non-Conforming Students,” which would authorize students to access sex-segregated spaces, such as restrooms and locker rooms, that “correspond to their gender identity.” This policy would allow boys to access girls’ sex-segregated spaces if they “identify” as girls, and vice versa. The policy would also allow WCS to withhold information regarding a child’s “transgender status” from parents, “unless the student approves it, the law requires it, or to prevent harm to the student.”
On October 2, more than 150 citizens gathered to discuss the proposed policy, in a meeting that lasted over four hours. One concerned parent, Jonathan Brandt, opined, “I assert you desire to afford special protections to one group based on perceived social injustice of few at the expense of privacy and erosion of parental rights for all others.”
Although the school board did not vote on the proposed policy, they did vote to add “sexual identity,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” to the WCS non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
The policy will be discussed by the policy committee October 3, and may be discussed and voted on by board members on October 16.
Cathy Brennan, women’s rights activist and contributor to Female Erasure: What You Need To Know About Gender Politics’ War on Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights, on “transgender policies” and the erosion of Title IX in public schools.
In a 2-1 decision, the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling dismissing a case from R.M.A., a female minor who identifies as a transgender boy, “which alleged discrimination in public accommodation, specifically, the boys’ locker rooms and restrooms, based on sex.”
This decision affirms a lower court’s ruling dismissing the case on grounds that “the Missouri Human Rights Act does not extend its protection to claims based on gender identity.” According to the opinion, “Our judicial role does not permit us to vary settled legislative intent based on evolving social sensitivities. Instead, we are bound by the state of the law as it currently exists.”
Drew Adams is a 16-year-old student at Nease High School in St Johns County, FL who identifies as a transgender boy. Lambda Legal recently filed a lawsuit on Adams’ behalf seeking access to the boys’ restrooms at the high school Adams attends.
According to Adams, “I started using the boys’ room during my freshman year, when I began living as the boy that I am, and everything was fine. No one bothered me and I didn’t bother anyone else. But then one day, I was pulled out of class and told that I could no longer use the boys’ room, and would have to use one of the few gender-neutral bathrooms on campus instead. Apparently, someone had anonymously reported me, as if I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t.”
Adams’ attorneys assert “that St. John County School Board’s discriminatory restroom policy sends a purposeful message that transgender students in the school district are undeserving of the privacy, respect and protections afforded to other students. Lambda Legal also argues that the school district’s policy to exclude transgender students from the restrooms that match their gender is unconstitutional because it discriminates based on sex in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments Act.”
On June 6, 2017 the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued an internal memo to OCR attorneys, explaining “the effects on the developments on the enforcement of Title IX by the Office for Civil Rights.” The letter emphasizes that “OCR may not rely on the policy set forth in the May 2016 DCL or the January 7, 2015 letter to a private individual as the sole basis for resolving a complaint. …Rather, OCR should rely on Title IX and its implementing regulations, as interpreted in decisions of federal courts and OCR guidance documents that remain in effect, in evaluating complaints of sex discrimination of individuals whether or not the individual is transgender.” The letter also encourages attorneys to “evaluated each allegation separately” and briefly outlines the procedure for dismissing a complaint.
Jessiqua Kat Valentine is a male who identifies as a woman. In 2013, when he was 16, he faced opposition from girls at Florence High School in Florence, Colorado, when he sought access to girls’ facilities, as the girls complained that they did not want a male in their private space.
Transgender activists railed against this blog and other pro-women activists who publicized this case, saying that Valentine should not be “outed.”
The American Civil Liberties Union continues to demonstrate that it does not care about the rights of children in taking up the cause of a teenage girl in Michigan who wants access to boys’ facilities because she says she’s a boy. It sent a letter to the Jenison High School superintendent on behalf of the girl, who apparently is offended that she was told that she could choose between the bathroom corresponding with her actual sex , one of three unisex staff bathrooms or a so-called gender-neutral bathroom installed.