07 December 2015

Boys Cannot Use Girls Locker Room Legally

Locker Room
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights issued a report "slamming" a suburban Chicago school district for its handling of a question that now dominates headlines: should biological males who identify as female be allowed to use women’s locker rooms and bathrooms?

The Department of Education opined that denying access to the girls’ locker room for a Palatine, Illinois, teenage boy who identifies as a girl violated Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

According to John Stonestreet there are some handy tools available for the school district to counter the argument, not least of which: common sense and the law. Stonestreet is President of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and BreakPoint co-host.

Stonestreet added that Title IX reads that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

He notes that the key word there is sex, not gender.

Until recently, the best-known and most controversial application of Title IX was to mandate a rough parity in intercollegiate athletics. Now, the Obama administration is invoking it to mandate parity in locker room and bathroom access.

What happened in Illinois is only one ripple in what seems like a tidal wave that will sweep away modesty, privacy, and common sense. Many parents wonder if they can do anything to stem this tide. After all, can you stop the federal government?

The Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF's) answer is a resounding "YES!"

Speaking recently on Moody Radio, the ADF’s Matt Sharp said that "If you look at what the [legal] precedent says, and what the most recent courts looking at this issue have found,” it becomes clear that "schools can have these separate facilities" for boys and girls.

According to Sharp, schools "can take steps to protect the privacy of their students as the Palatine Township School District [did.]" Contrary to what the Department of Education said, it can require a transgender "student to change in a different area or a curtained-off area … all with the goal of protecting the privacy of the females in the locker room."

Sharp and the ADF are so confident in the soundness of their legal analysis that if a school district adopts ADF's stance on separate facilities for boys and girls and then gets sued, "the Alliance Defending Freedom is willing to represent [the district] free of charge, so [the district will not be] out-of-pocket for taking a stand on what is right and what common sense says we ought to do."

Sharp and the ADF aren't alone in their conclusion. Sacha Coupet of Loyola University’s Civitas Child Law Center told the journal Athletic Business that when claims like the one in Palatine "have gone beyond the Department of Education into federal court, [the Department’s] interpretation has yet to hold sway."

Courts in Pennsylvania and Virginia have "found that Title IX does not prohibit schools from limiting access on the basis of a person's sex."