A U.S. federal judge ruled last week that students have the right to use the restrooms, locker rooms and showers of those of the opposite gender in a public school, and that parents who don’t like the policy can pull their children out of school.
The case in Oregon arose when Dallas High School in Dallas, Ore., adopted a new policy allowing transgender students to use gender-specific facilities that correspond with their self-identified gender and not their birth gender. A group of parents then sued, saying their beliefs and Christian faith prevent their children from using the restroom and undressing in the presence of the opposite sex.
But in his ruling, U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez – a nominee of President Obama -- said the transgender students have the right to use gender-specific facilities. The school has a female student who identifies as a boy and wishes to use male restrooms, dressing rooms and showers.
“Forcing transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity would undoubtedly harm those students and prevent them from equally accessing educational opportunities and resources,” Hernandez wrote. “Such an injunction or District policy would punish transgender students for their gender nonconformity and constitute a form of sex-stereotyping.”
If the parents don’t like they new policy, the judge added, they can withdraw their children.
“It is within Parent Plaintiffs’ right to remove their children from Dallas High School if they disapprove of transgender student access to facilities,” he wrote. “Once the parents have chosen to send their children to school, however, their liberty interest in their children’s education is severely diminished.”
The parents are part of a group known as Parents for Privacy.
“These students,” the parents’ attorneys argued in court documents, “have the sincere religious belief that they must not undress, or use the restroom, in the presence of the opposite biological sex, and also that they must not be in the presence of the opposite biological sex while the opposite biological sex is undressing or using the restroom.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Photo Courtesy: Facebook
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.