Families sue feds, Chicago-area school district for violating student privacy

Families sue feds, Chicago-area school district for violating student privacy

Families sue feds, Chicago-area school district for violating student privacy
Families sue feds, Chicago-area school district for violating student privacy
Families sue feds, Chicago-area school district for violating student privacy

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys representing 51 families in the Palatine area filed suit on May 5, 2016, against the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Township High School District 211 for disregarding student privacy and safety.

The lawsuit by ADF represents students, parents challenging opening of restrooms, locker rooms to opposite sex based on DOE falsehoods and threats concerning the actions of the LGBT community and the transgender issue.

ADF reported that the district secretly opened its schools’ restrooms to the opposite sex and then opened the girls’ locker room to a boy after the U.S. Department of Education threatened the district’s federal funding.

“Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it’s a school district’s duty,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Allowing boys into girls’ locker rooms, a setting where girls are often partially or fully unclothed, is a blatant violation of student privacy. The school district should rescind its privacy-violating policies, and the court should order the Department of Education to stop bullying school districts with falsehoods about what federal law requires.”

ADF explained that no law, including Title IX, the federal law concerning sex discrimination at schools and colleges that receive federal education funds—requires schools to allow boys into girls’ restrooms or girls into boys’ restrooms. In fact, Title IX and its regulations specifically state that a school receiving federal funds can “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” without putting that funding at risk. The lawsuit also explains that the DOE did not comply with the Administrative Procedure Act when it adopted its rules.

“It’s a massive step backwards to force women to give up their inherent right to bodily privacy,” said Thomas More Society attorney Jocelyn Floyd. “To impose such a rule on still-developing teenage girls, as they’re already struggling with puberty’s changes on their bodies and social pressures to look a certain way, undermines their dignity and tells them that their rights don’t matter. This isn’t a message our schools should be sending to our girls.”

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has also gone after the State of North Carolina concerning its HB2, North Carolina’s bathroom privacy law, in which the DOJ has misinterpreted the federal law.

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