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Ohio School District Suing the Federal Government

Transgender Bathroom Signs
A local school district in Ohio has sued the federal government over its transgender mandate. (Reuters photo)

After its own state failed to take action against the U.S. departments of Education and Justice over the Obama administration's transgender mandate, an Ohio school district has filed suit with assistance from the Alliance Defending Freedom.

The federal government has threatened the federal funding of Highland Local School District because officials there have not allowed a student who professes a gender that conflicts with that student's biological sex to access overnight accommodations, locker rooms, showers and restrooms designated for and used by students of the opposite sex. ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell said schools have a duty to "protect the dignity, privacy and safety" of all students.

"This is precisely what Highland Local School District has done," he said. "Despite that, the Department of Education is attempting to strong-arm Highland into complying with a lawless demand to open its single-sex overnight accommodations, locker rooms, showers and restrooms to students of the opposite sex. The DOE is trying to redefine a federal law that only Congress can change."

The district has been allowing the student to use single-use restrooms, and has "acceded to nearly all of the requests" from the student's guardian with to respect that student's "professed gender." The guardian, however, filed a compaint with the DoE's Office for Civil Rights, alleging the district will not provide access to "intimate facilities designated for the opposite sex."

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The OCR has demanded that the district allow such access despite the district's obligation to protect the dignity interests and privacy rights of all its students.

"As a result, Highland faces an impossible choice: capitulate to Defendants' demands and sacrifice the dignity and privacy rights of their students; or protect those rights and watch Defendants strip away more than a million dollars each year in federal funding devoted to special-education programs, lunches for underprivileged children, and educational advancement," the ADF complaint states. "The Court should resolve this dilemma, declare that Defendants' new Title IX rule is an unlawful executive-branch attempt to rewrite federal law, enjoin Defendants from enforcing that rule, and protect Highland from having to cut programs that serve underprivileged children and students struggling to learn."

The lawsuit explains that the DOE and DOJ are both unlawfully redefining the terms of Title IX, something that only Congress can alter, and are illegitimately forcing their political will on all public schools across the nation. No federal law requires schools to allow boys into girls' locker rooms or girls into boys' locker rooms, and numerous courts have rejected the agencies' interpretation of Title IX.

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