Alexis Lightcap knows first-hand what discrimination looks like.
“I’m a black female who goes to a predominantly white school,” says the 19-year-old, who spent time in the foster care system before being adopted. “Every day I am dealing with different racist comments and things that constantly put me down.”
Alexis also knows what it feels like to have her privacy violated. “I was a junior in high school when I ducked into the girls’ room at school one day to find…a boy,” she wrote in the Philadelphia Enquirer. “My first thought was to get out. My second thought was to find my teacher and let her know what happened.”
Her teacher advised her to talk to her grade-level principal—but the principal did not listen to Alexis’s concerns. Instead, he informed her that it was the school district’s new policy to allow students to use restrooms of the opposite sex and that she would just have to get used to it.
So, when Alexis found out that one of her classmates was involved in a lawsuit challenging the school district’s policy, she knew she had to make her voice heard. She made the brave decision to go public. “I have a chance to speak up,” says Alexis, “I knew I had to do something.”
Today, Alliance Defending Freedom asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to re-hear her case, after it ruled against student privacy earlier this year.
Some argue that opposition to this policy is tantamount to discrimination against the handful of students who identify as the opposite sex. But Alexis knows better. “This is not about discrimination,” she said. “This is a privacy issue.”
School districts have a duty to protect the safety and privacy of all of their students, not just a few. Boyertown has ignored that duty.
The only people who the school informed of the change were a couple of students who sought to use opposite sex facilities as a way of affirming their claimed gender identity. Schools can accommodate a small number of students with different needs, but in cases like Boyertown High School, school administrators chose to accommodate a few individuals at the expense of the other students’ privacy.
“It felt like a specific group of people were protected while the greater population was not,” said Alexis.
Alexis knows first-hand what it is like to be discriminated against. From her time in the foster care system, she also knows how it feels to have her voice ignored by a government bureaucracy. But it is a testament to her courage and determination that Alexis now uses her voice and unique perspective to speak out for student privacy.