Bathroom Policy Needs Some Remodeling
Alexis Lightcap may have graduated from Boyertown High, but she’s not done fighting for the students there. Someone has to. And based on the last three years, it’s not going to be school officials.
“You don’t ever dream you’re going to sue your high school”, Alexis says. “But that’s exactly what several of my peers and I had to do.” If the adults aren’t going to do their job protecting kids, then a handful of teenagers in Pennsylvania are determined to do it.
Like most students at Boyertown, Alexis had no idea the school’s policy had changed until she walked into the girl’s restroom and saw a teenage boy. “My first thought was to get out,” she remembers. So she did. On the school’s security cameras, you can watch her running out and down the hall. What happens next is a story she tells in USA Today. “I tried to get the attention of administrators to explain to them how uncomfortable — how scared — I felt sharing the girls’ restroom with a boy,” she says. “They wouldn’t listen. The principal simply wrote down my concerns on a Post-it note and said he’d contact me soon. He never did.”
Alexis’s parents, who’d adopted her out of the state’s foster care system, were just as shocked. “Boyertown officials kept it a secret from them, too.” Not a single parent had been told about the change — which meant that school locker rooms were also open to everyone. One of Alexis’s classmates found that out the hard way when he walked into the boys’ changing area and saw a teenage girl in a sports bra and shorts. The administrator he talked to told him to “tolerate it” — to “make it as natural as possible.”
“Hollywood movies and TV shows try to make that kind of moment seem funny,” Alexis explains. “But in real life, it’s embarrassing and unnerving. Locker rooms and restrooms are supposed to be a refuge for students, and adults, too, for that matter… Why is it so hard for school officials to understand that young girls care about the privacy of their bodies? It’s natural for us and our parents to worry about who might walk in on us in a vulnerable moment.”
Boyertown officials may not care about her privacy, but Alexis and her attorneys at ADF are hoping the Supreme Court will make them. She and other students, listed in the suit as Joel Doe and Jack Jones, are hoping the justices will step in and decide an issue that could have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction months ago. See, the problem isn’t that schools are trying to accommodate these confused kids. The problem is that their solution is taking everyone’s privacy away in the process.
Alexis writes, “Schools can, and should, be compassionate in supporting students who experience gender dysphoria. So should other students. But a truly fair and genuinely compassionate policy doesn’t have to be kept secret from students and parents. And an effective policy would be one that secures the privacy of every student.”
Ironically, that’s the kind of common sense policy that states like North Carolina worked to pass into law. Like most of these debates, it wasn’t a fight the Tar Heels picked. Leaders were just responding to some activists on the Charlotte city council that had an agenda, and the Obama administration, who were trying to force this gender free-for-all on Americans against their will. One of the biggest lies the Left trotted out in an effort to kill the efforts to protect women and children from predators was that it would cost the state billions of dollars in business. What a joke that turned out to be!
North Carolina didn’t just weather the storm of H.B. 2 — it thrived in it. For two years in a row, Forbes named the Tar Heel State #2 on Forbes’s top states for doing business. This week, it surpassed even that — winning the #1 spot for 2018. Two years after the law, more businesses are moving to North Carolina than away from it. “The outlook is also strong. Job growth and gross state product growth are expected to rank among the strongest in the country over the next five years,” Forbes points out. As for all of those people moving out of the state because it dared to protect women and children? “The population is growing twice as fast as the U.S. average…”
If liberal [extremists] were hoping to make a case study out of the fallout, they’ll have a tough time trying. Other states have considered measures like H.B 2 — and based on these numbers, it might be the best decision they ever make.
By Tony Perkins & FRC Senior Staff. Published with permission, Family Research Council, Washington Update, November 30, 2018, 801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, 1-800-225-4008, www.frc.org.
The Language of Liberty series is an outreach project of the Center for Self Governance, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in principles of liberty. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG. CenterForSelfGovernance.com