In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by the Alliance Defending Freedom and Independence Law Center, the Boyertown Area School District is being sued for forcing a male student to undress in front of a “male-identifying” female student in the boys’ locker room.
The lawsuit, stemming from an incident that occurred last October, has been presented on the basis of sexual harassment and violation of privacy.
According to the male student, referred to in the lawsuit as “Joel Doe,” he was told by the principal that he must “tolerate” undressing in the company of a transgendered student, and to go about it as “natural as he possibly can.”
Citing Joel Doe’s “immediate confusion, embarrassment, humiliation, and loss of dignity,” the suit directed towards the Boyertown School District comes off the heels of President Donald Trump peeling back Obama-created transgender bathroom rules. Randall Wenger of the Independence Law Center said, “No school should rob any student of this legally protected personal privacy.”
Wenger also said, “We trust that our children won’t be forced into emotionally vulnerable situations like this when they are in the care of our schools because it’s a school’s duty to protect and respect the bodily privacy and dignity of all students.”
As the incident from last autumn has been told, Joel Doe began to change from his school clothes and into his athletic attire for his pending P.E. class. According to the lawsuit Doe “suddenly realized there was a member of the opposite sex changing with him in the locker room, who was at the time, wearing nothing but shorts and a bra.”
Upon notifying the school’s Assistant Principal, identified as Dr. Foley, Doe was told to go about his business as usual.
The lawsuit also states, “Dr. Foley indicated that the legality was up in the air but that students who mentally identify themselves with the opposite sex could choose the locker room and bathroom to use, and physical sex did not matter.”
Political commentator Todd Starnes reported that district parents “were not told of the school district’s decision to let students of one sex use the locker rooms and bathrooms of students of the opposite sex.”
Failing to directly comment on the story, Boyertown Superintendent Richard Faidley was quoted in the lawsuit, alleged to have said if “Joel Doe was uncomfortable changing with those of the opposite sex, or with using the nurse’s office, then he could just withdraw from school and be home schooled.”
Eliza Byard of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network believes that the school was not prepared to internally manage its transgendered population.
“The existence of a transgender person living their life appropriately at school cannot constitute sexual harassment,” Byard claimed. “It might make another student uncomfortable and in that case, there is a common sense legal remedy of providing separate accommodations to the student who feels uncomfortable.”
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