Nearly half of the states in the Union have initiated legal challenges to the public school bathroom mandate issued by the Obama Administration. A total of 23 states have now pursued litigation in federal court against the mandate, which requires that public schools must allow any student access to the bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms of the opposite sex.
The latest lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Nebraska earlier this month, and initiated by Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson. Missouri’s neighboring states of Kansas and Arkansas joined Nebraska and seven other states in seeking to invalidate the bathroom edict. The first state to challenge the mandate in federal court was the State of Texas, and twelve other states have since joined in that separate litigation.
“The recent action by the federal government to require showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms to be open to both sexes based solely on a student’s choice circumvents the established law,” says Attorney General Peterson. “This action strips local school districts of the authority to address student issues on an individualized, professional, and private basis.”
The legal frenzy over school bathrooms was spurred by an announcement made in May by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The Attorney General used a press conference to declare that the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education were issuing a joint directive governing bathroom access in the nation’s public schools.
Under that edict, schools must allow students to use private facilities based on their self-professed “gender identity,” or forfeit the loss of federal education funding. Attorney General Lynch proclaimed that schools may not adopt “broad generalizations or stereotypes” with regard to a student’s actual gender, and that “an individual’s sex consists of multiple factors, which may not always be in alignment.”
Lynch claimed that Title IX of the Federal Education Act demands that students be granted access to whatever bathroom, locker room, or shower facility they desire. This is an unequivocally false statement. Title IX and its regulations specifically authorize schools to provide separate facilities based on a student’s biological sex.
The lawless actions by Lynch came on the heels of similar renegade action by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, which threatened to haul school districts into court who fail to provide unisex bathrooms.
Kellie Fiedorek, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, applauded the vigorous collective effort of state attorneys general to preserve student’s bathroom privacy. “The Obama Administration cannot unilaterally redefine federal law to serve its own political ends. The Administration has exceeded its authority in threatening schools that choose to protect children’s privacy.”
“The federal government should not be able to force students to shower and undress in the same locker rooms with students of the opposite sex, or to share rooms on overnight trips,” Fiedorek explained. “We commend the growing number of states across the country who are exercising common sense and defending the privacy and safety of children.”
Missouri is not among the states which have chosen to directly challenge the Obama Administration’s illegal blackmail. Instead, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has decided to take a less forceful approach to voice the state’s opposition to federal intrusion into local school district affairs.
Koster announced last month that his office would file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a school district in Virginia that is challenging the bathroom mandate in federal court. In April a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that students in the Gloucester County School District are legally entitled to access the restrooms, changing rooms, and shower facilities that are “congruent” with their imaginary “gender identity.”
The school board in Gloucester County is now appealing the 4th Circuit decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Koster said that the amicus brief would assert that local school districts should have the ability to form “lawful policy on this issue.” Koster stated that it was wrong for President Obama to dictate a national mandate on the subject, and that he believes Missouri school districts “are capable of treating all students with dignity and respect while addressing privacy concerns.”
A recent public opinion poll makes it clear that the vast majority of Americans strongly oppose the Obama Administration’s action which allows any boy to invade the restrooms, locker rooms, and showers of female students. A nationwide survey showed that two-thirds of the public oppose “government forcing schools and businesses to open bathrooms and locker rooms designated for women and girls to biological males, and vice versa.”
66% of those surveyed by WPA Opinion Research rejected the federal bathroom mandate, with 52% of those polled expressing strong disapproval. Only 28% of those questioned supported unrestricted access to any public bathroom. The concept of open bathrooms was overwhelmingly opposed by both men and women, and by individuals in every age category.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, derided President Obama for trampling upon the boundaries of his constitutional powers. “The President has ignored the repeatedly expressed concerns of parents and school officials over the privacy and safety of students. If the White House can dictate the policies for every school locker room, shower, and bathroom in America, what could possibly be beyond his reach?”
But President Obama is not giving up on his crusade to neuter American society and its institutions. The U.S. Justice Department has refiled a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down a North Carolina law prohibiting individuals from using the “restrooms or intimate accommodations of the opposite sex.”
In their latest court filing, the Administration’s lawyers make the incredible argument that defining sex based “exclusively on anatomy” is “medically inaccurate.” The Obama Administration contends that there is no legal basis “for privileging anatomy as the sole basis for determining sex.”
The Missouri State Board of Education has yet to take a position on the bathroom edict, and local school districts are making individual judgments about whether to comply with or defy the mandate. We encourage you to contact your local school board members and school superintendents and principals, and encourage them to protect the privacy and safety of our children and grandchildren.