A Pennsylvania high school student is suing his school district after a transgender student surprised him while both were undressing in the locker room.
Attorneys for the student say he was standing in his underwear in the locker room in the Boyertown Area Senior High School changing for PE class when he got a big shock.
Suddenly he realized that a transgender person was in the room wearing her undergarments. The male student quickly finished changing and left the locker room to start his PE class.
After class, he sought out the school's assistant principal, who told him to "tolerate" the situation and repeatedly told him to make it as "natural" as he could.
In a complaint filed in federal district court in eastern Pennsylvania, "Joel Doe" indicated that his guardians met with the school principal a few days later.
They discovered then that despite no change in signage, the district had adopted an "all-inclusive" policy and that students who are uncomfortable using restrooms or locker rooms with transgender students can receive permission to use the nurse's office.
Since last fall, Doe has stopped using the locker room, avoids the rest room and has reported consistent anxiety and humiliation over the ongoing situation.
Doe's attorney, Kellie Fiedorek with Alliance Defending Freedom, says the Boyertown Area School district violated her client's right to privacy and disregarded Pennsylvania law which requires schools to have separate facilities on the basis of sex.
In addition, the lawsuit claims sexual harassment under Title IX, a federal law, and violation of the right to bodily privacy under the U.S. Constitution.
Now that the Trump administration has reversed federal school bathroom guidelines mandated by the Obama administration, states and school districts are free to interpret federal anti-discrimination policy and determine their own bathroom policy for schools.
"This is an issue best solved at the state and local level," Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said, "schools, communities, and families can find—and in many cases have found—solutions that protect all students."
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