Obama Admin. Pressures School to Make Sweeping Changes for Girl Who Identifies as Boy
The Obama administration has put pressure on a southern California school district to settle a federal civil rights complaint brought by the parents of an incoming high school freshman who is anatomically female, but claims her identity is male. Her local school district would not permit her to sleep in a hotel room of boys during field trips, or use the boys’ room or changing facilities for males.
LifeSiteNews reports that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice has been investigating the Arcadia Unified School District (AUSD) for the past two years, and pressuring the district to allow the girl to use the boys’ facilities, stating in a letter that failure to do so is an act of sexual discrimination against “students who do not conform to sex stereotypes.”
A new agreement stipulates that every transgender student in the school district must have full access to the opposite sex’s changing rooms and sleeping quarters during school trips.
In the settlement between the school district, the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, the school district admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to the demands of the girl’s family and to orders given by the DOJ.
The Obama administration’s orders apply to any students who approach school administrators claiming to be the opposite sex. The Arcadia school district must not only provide the girl unrestricted access to all boys’ facilities, they must also provide her with private facilities if she requests them.
The DOJ also ordered the school district to allow the girl to participate in any boys-only activities she desires, both on- and off-campus, and seal all records of her birth sex and previous name to protect her new identity as a boy.
The school district agreed that it will be subject to continued monitoring by the DOJ and Department of Education through 2016 to ensure compliance with the orders.
The parents’ complaint against the AUSD, filed in 2011, accused the school district of violating federal anti-discrimination laws by requiring their daughter to sleep in her own room with a parental chaperone on two separate field trips instead of with the boys:
While [name] was in fifth grade, [name] and [her] family made the decision that [she] would officially transition to living as male on a full-time basis at the beginning of sixth grade. That year the entire fifth grade went on an overnight field trip to a science camp. AUSD had arranged for [name] to attend the camp with [her] mother. They were placed in a room together in the girls' cabin, while the rest of [her] friends were able to bunk with their peers.
For [name] the trip was a disaster. [Name’s] female peers taunted [her] relentlessly referring to him as ‘it’ and attempting to block [her] from entering the girls' cabin because of [her] ambiguous gender. Each night, [name] cried [her]self to sleep.
The girl’s parents say that the taunting led their daughter to cut off her hair and obtain a court order to change her name. They claim that by the time the girl went to middle school, she was living as a boy, “with a whole new group of students who never knew [her] as a girl.”
However, in seventh grade, the district said that, in order for the girl to attend an overnight field trip, she would have to sleep in a separate room and have a parent along to chaperone, even though the parents of other students would not be chaperoning the trip.
Three weeks prior to the field trip, the parents sued the school district.
In its defense, the school district cited a state law permitting the maintenance of separate facilities for the two biological sexes. The girl’s parents, however, filed the federal civil rights complaint, alleging the district violated federal anti-discrimination laws by not permitting their daughter to sleep in the boys’ room without a parent present.
The DOJ’s orders require the school district to provide all students who wish to be identified as the opposite sex with “support teams” upon request to ensure school administrators are abiding by the students’ wishes.
In addition, the DOJ ordered the district to add “gender discrimination” to its anti-discrimination rules, provide sensitivity training for its staff, and inform students, staff and teachers that discrimination based on “gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, transgender status, or gender nonconformity” is strictly prohibited.
FoxNews.com, however, reports that the DOJ’s orders in the case of the Arcadia school district are receiving wide criticism.
Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, said Attorney General Eric Holder is wrong in treating this case as a matter of civil rights.
“Eric Holder needs to reread the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and find out that civil rights are based on an unchangeable, immutable characteristic,” Thomasson said. “You cannot change your genes or your gender. You have chromosomes and they are either XX or XY. This is a girl who has been environmentally warped to believe she is a boy, and, instead of coddling this confused child, her parents should have gotten her into counseling with an expert on gender confusion.”
Bob Tyler, an attorney at Advocates for Faith & Freedom, told FoxNews.com, “It is definitely a situation where we have compassion for that child and the child needs help. But you can’t ignore the rights under the constitution of California, and arguably under the United States Constitution, of all the other students of the school.”
Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told FoxNews.com that the main concern is whether this decision will affect the rights and fairness for the majority of kids.
“We are seeing a trend here nationally where we have individuals who are psychologically unhealthy who are always getting what they want, but what do you do about the hundreds of other children in the school affected?” Lafferty asked.