A group of parents and students in Palatine, Illinois, who are suing the federal government over the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policy asked a federal court on Wednesday to grant the school permission to ignore the new mandate.
“Children are not guinea pigs,” a memorandum filed with the motion for a preliminary injunction states, “and they should not be subjected to social experimentation to further political agendas as the price of a quality education.”
The plaintiffs, a group called Students and Parents for Privacy, consist of 51 families, including 136 moms, dads, and their children. Their school, Township High School District 211, was the first in the nation that the Education Department found in violation of Title IX over transgender issues.
In their lawsuit, filed against the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and Township High School District 211, the plaintiffs argue the Obama administration lacks the authority to redefine sex in Title IX of U.S. law to include gender identity.
The issue began in December 2013, when a transgender student, known as Student A, filed a complaint with the Education Department against Township High School District 211. On Dec. 2, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights found Township High School District 211 in violation of federal law for not allowing the student, who was born male but identifies as female, into the girls’ locker room.
The school had granted Student A some accommodations, including changing the student’s name on official records, allowing the student on girls’ sports teams, and granting the student access to the girls’ bathrooms. But District 211 drew the line at providing Student A unrestrained access to the girls’ locker rooms because of the privacy concerns of other girls using them. Instead, the school offered a private facility to Student A.
In order to comply with the Education Department’s demands, the school then granted Student A access to the girls’ locker room.
If District 211 did not comply, it could be at risk of losing $6 million in federal funding.
After the school began allowing Student A access to the girls’ locker room, the Obama administration issued guidance mandating that all public schools in the U.S. allow transgender students to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities that match their gender identity. If schools do not comply with the guidance, the Obama administration threatened to take away their federal funding.
In response, the parents, students, and their lawyers are asking for a preliminary injunction against District 211’s implementation of the Obama administration’s mandate.
“School districts have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students at their schools,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said. “When a school allows students of one sex to enter the restroom, locker rooms, and showers of students of the opposite sex, they violate that duty.”
According to a CBS/New York Times poll, “46 percent of Americans think transgender people should use the bathrooms assigned to their birth gender” and “slightly fewer—41 percent—think they should be able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as.”