Parents Sue Obama Over Illinois School’s Pro-Transgender Bathroom Rules

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016 file photo, a sticker that reads, "Keep Locker Rooms Safe," is worn by a person supporting a bill that would eliminate Washington's new rule allowing transgender people use gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity, at the …
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Illinois parents are suing President Barack Obama’s deputies over his insistence that the 1964 federal Title IX education rules require schools to impose pro-transgender bathroom and locker room policies.

The lawsuit says the federal government’s rules also eliminate parents’ right to instill moral values in their children as well as violating students’ fundamental right to privacy in their restrooms and locker rooms.

The group filed the suit after suburban Chicago Township High School District 211 — quietly and without any notice to parents — opened its school restrooms to the opposite sex. The district then opened a girls’ locker room to a boy after the U.S. Department of Education threatened to cut off the district’s $6 million in federal funding.

“Every day these girls go to school, they experience embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation and loss of dignity because they will have to use the locker room and restroom with a biological male,” the lawsuit states.

The Illinois district has some precedent for making its policy. Already one American student has used Obama’s version of the 1964 law to successfully convince a federal appeals court to force a school district in Virginia to institute pro-transgender bathroom policies.

The group of 51 families in Illinois are represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. The firm’s attorneys filed suit on May 4 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.

“Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it’s a school district’s duty,” ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement. “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.”

“No government agency can unilaterally redefine the meaning of a federal law to serve its own political ends,” added ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “The Department of Education is exceeding what it is legally and constitutionally allowed to do. In fact, at least five other federal and state courts have rejected the DOE’s interpretation of Title IX.”

Most of the parents in the suit are hoping to stay anonymous, but some of the group have chosen to speak out.

In exclusive comments to Breitbart News, Vicki Wilson, one of the parents of a student in Township School District 211, said her participation in the suit was a matter of “dignity.”

“Somehow,” Wilson said, “the school board decided that the privacy and dignity of our children had no value when weighed against dollars and cents. So now I am stepping in to stand up for my children and all of our children. That is why I am here today.”

“No school should impose a policy like this against the will of so many parents,” Wilson continued. “Parents have a right to protect their children and the district must listen to the parents they are paid to serve.”

Wilson continued, saying:

We sympathize with children who have difficult personal issues to work through. But young men shouldn’t be permitted to deal with those issues in intimate settings with young girls, some as young as 14.

Girls should never be forced to undress in the presence of young men. It violates their right to privacy and harms their dignity.

The school district should adopt a privacy policy that respects the needs of all children because every child matters. The federal government should support them in doing so.

Another District 211 parent who wishes to be known only as T.V. called the district’s policy “reckless.”

It is not up to the school district to determine the first time our daughters encounter a member of the opposite sex while in a state of undress. But with this reckless policy that is exactly what has happened.

My oldest daughter is a [local high school] graduate, but while she was there, and before the Agreement, a biological male who identifies as female walked in on her in the swimming locker room.

She was very upset by the intense invasion to her privacy. Now school officials have adopted a school policy that makes this invasion of privacy a daily reality for young girls at the school.

By adopting this policy allowing boys into the girls’ locker room the school is telling girls that their rights and their dignity don’t matter.

It is unfortunate that we are forced to take the district and the Department of Education to court to ensure that our children are valued and treated equally with other students.

Other experts agree with the Alliance Defending Freedom’s position that Title IX rules should not be applied to transgender bathroom policies at all.

Steven W. Fitschen, president of the National Legal Foundation, told Breitbart News that even in its decision, the Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit admitted that Title IX does not directly address transgenderism. Because of this, Fitschen points out, “The majority had to rely on a [2014] letter of interpretation of the regulation that does address transgenderism.”

For his part, Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told Breitbart that if the courts used Title IX to force pro-transgender policies, “it would be a major setback for local control by school districts, as well as a major breach of trust for parents throughout the country who value the privacy protection of their sons and daughters in the locker rooms and showers at public schools.”

Progressive gay, feminist, and transgender groups fiercely oppose laws and social rules that preserve the obvious and subtle differences between the two sexes, which they deride as “the gender binary.”

These progressives instead wish to create new laws and social norms that allow people, including children, to declare themselves “gender fluid,” so they can freely adopt and mix male and female styles and behavior without suffering criticism from Americans or from any disincentives from communities that want to preserve single-sex sports, bathrooms, changing rooms, or school locker rooms.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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