Parents of female students in the Hillsboro School District are up in arms over a decision by school administrators to grant a male student access to their teenage daughters' high school locker room.
The controversy erupted with the start of the new school year in the Hillsboro R-3 School District. The furor surrounds a physical education class for high school freshmen and sophomores called "Coed Recreational Games." For unexplained reasons, a male senior student who claims to be "transgendered" was assigned to the class.
On the second day of school the male student, who goes by the name Lila Perry
*, was also assigned a locker in the girls locker room. Perry, who wears skirts and dresses but still retains all the anatomy of a male, was given permission to change clothes in the presence of the freshmen and sophomore girls. He had been offered a gender-neutral
restroom to change by school officials, but turned it down, saying he "did not want to feel segregated out."
When girls shared their discomfort with the situation with teachers and principals, they were advised that they could change in another locker room. However, this offer was only extended when and if girls made known they were uncomfortable with the presence of a teenage boy while they were dressing and undressing.
Outraged parents confronted school officials about the invasion of their daughters' privacy and why they had not been notified . Dr. Aaron Cornman, Superintendent of the Hillsboro R-3 Schools, stated that had he notified parents of the situation, he would have violated Perry's "privacy rights." Cornman has provided no explanation as to why he is unconcerned about the
raw breach of the privacy rights of the female high school students in question.
Last week, approximately 150 students staged a walkout to express their support for the privacy concerns of their female classmates. A large crowd of parents attended a recent school board meeting to share their displeasure, and yet others held a peaceful gathering outside the high school where they prayed for a change in the school district's position. One parent held a sign which read "Girls' Rights Matter."
As expected, the ultraliberal print and broadcast media have used the occasion to overtly campaign for the "rights of the transgender community." Doug Moore, the homosexual rights advocate for the Post-Dispatch, and other "reporters" have repeatedly falsely described Perry as a "she," despite the fact that Perry is unquestionably a "he."
Several news accounts portrayed the student walkout as an angry protest against Perry, when in actuality it was a quiet show of support for the female physical education
students. The hostility has come from Perry, who has accused his fellow students of "pure and simple bigotry." He has compared his "plight" with that of African-Americans who in years past were not allowed to share restrooms with Caucasians.
Dr. Cornman says that the school district's policy is the result of "guidance" from the federal Office of Civil Rights, and that failure to comply could result in the loss of federal funding. School administrators have acknowledged that the policy they are following is one recommended by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has sent a letter to Hillsboro School Board members making clear that the legal advice they are receiving from their attorneys is in error. While school administrators are clearly intimidated by the threat of a lawsuit from the ACLU,
attorneys for ADF assert that the school district is actually exposing itself to legal liability from parents for violating students' rights to bodily privacy.
"Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it's a school district's duty," says ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. "Letting boys into girls' locker rooms and restrooms is an invasion of privacy and a threat to student safety."