The end — for now — of a lawsuit over locker room and restroom policies in a Minnesota school has shown again the consequences of electing a new president last September. Our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom on Thursday voluntarily withdrew a lawsuit they had filed on behalf of Privacy Matters, a group of parents and students who objected to a transgender locker room and restroom policy that had been adopted by a school district in the town of Virginia, Minnesota. The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice and the local school district were all defendants in the lawsuit filed last September.
The suit was triggered by actions involving a biologically male student who identifies as a transgender female. From 2014 to 2016, the school district had provided this student with accommodations to meet his needs for restroom and changing facilities while also protecting the privacy of other students. But in February 2016 — under pressure created by Obama administration policy’s threatening federal funding — the school district granted the transgender student unlimited access to girls’ locker rooms and restrooms. Students distressed at the prospect of sharing private facilities with someone of the opposite sex, along with their parents, filed suit.
But the Trump administration has withdrawn the Obama guidelines, and ADF now reports that “the school has taken steps to protect our clients’ privacy.” ADF attorney Matt Sharp told FRC that the school has promised to designate at least one locker room for biological females only, and not to penalize students who use that facility in any way. Dealing with the issue of transgender students on a case-by-case basis at the local level is far better than having the federal government impose a one-size-fits-all solution on the entire country that takes no account of the privacy rights of most students.
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