Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Challenge To School's Transgender Policy Is Rejected

In Parents for Privacy v. Dallas School District No. 2, (D OR, July 24, 2018), an Oregon federal district court in a 56-page opinion rejected an array of challenges to a school district's policy that allows transgender students to use restrooms, locker rooms, and showers that match their gender identity rather than
their biological sex assigned at birth.  Plaintiffs alleged that the policy violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the right to privacy, Title IX, Oregon state law, parents’ rights to direct the education and upbringing of their children, and the First Amendment and RFRA. Responding to these claims, the court said in part:
... [H]igh school students do not have a fundamental privacy right to not share school restrooms, lockers, and showers with transgender students whose biological sex is different than theirs. The potential threat that a high school student might see or be seen by someone of the opposite biological sex while either are undressing or performing bodily functions in a restroom, shower, or locker room does not give rise to a constitutional violation....
It is within Parent Plaintiffs’ right to remove their children from Dallas High School if they disapprove of transgender student access to facilities. Once the parents have chosen to send their children to school, however, their liberty interest in their children’s education is severely diminished....
In this case, the law is neutral and generally applicable with respect to religion. There are no allegations that District forced any Plaintiff to embrace a religious belief, nor does the Plan punish anyone for expressing their religious beliefs. In any event, Plaintiffs do not have standing to bring this claim.