– Alliance Defending Freedom and KeepNCSafe
sent a letter
to Durham Public Schools Thursday that asks it to reject a proposed policy that would allow children to use bathrooms of the opposite sex. The letter provides a suggested policy that addresses the school district’s concerns without opening restrooms, showers, and locker rooms to opposite-sex usage.
North Carolina law protects student privacy by requiring all public schools to maintain sex-specific restrooms, showers, and locker rooms, while providing accommodations for those uncomfortable using the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex. Durham Public School’s proposed policy could directly violate North Carolina law, strip students of their constitutionally protected right to privacy, and blatantly disregard the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives.
“No child should be forced into an intimate setting like a restroom or locker room with a person of the opposite sex. Protecting young children from exposure to members of the opposite sex in such settings is not only legal, it’s an important duty of officials who watch over our children,” said ADF Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “Letting boys into girls’ restrooms is an invasion of privacy and a threat to children’s safety. The school district is subjecting itself to potential liability if any of these children encounter any harm.”
As the letter explains, no law—including Title IX, the federal law concerning sex discrimination in public school programs and activities—requires public schools to allow boys into girls’ restrooms or girls into boys’ restrooms. In fact, Title IX and its regulations specifically state that a school receiving federal funds can “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” without putting that funding at risk.
The ADF letter also cites pertinent legal precedent, including court rulings that support the ability of public schools to limit restrooms and locker rooms to members of the same sex for privacy and safety reasons without violating Title IX.
“Every child deserves a safe space, and it’s our duty as parents to fight for their right to privacy,” said NC Values Coalition Executive Director Tami L. Fitzgerald. “Schools can accommodate students that have different preferences without compromising the rights and completely understandable needs of other children and their parents. This is commonsense. Biology, not feelings, should determine how our schools maintain intimate facilities and protect our children.”
- Pronunciation guide: Fiedorek (Fuh-DOHR’-eck)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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