Over the past year, some Virginia school boards in Virginia have adopted policies which effectively ensure that prisoners have more privacy rights than public school students in restrooms and locker rooms. And the ACLU has been there to prop them up every step along the way. That is why we will be working with the General Assembly this year to pass common sense legislation which makes absolutely clear schools in Virginia should not jeopardize the security of our school children through the radical trend of “gender identity” affirming policies. Legislation will ensure that every student’s privacy and dignity are protected when entering a school restroom by maintaining separate facilities for boys and girls, while at the same time encouraging reasonable accommodations for students struggling with gender identity issues whenever possible.
Several local school boards in Virginia have been confronted with school kids claiming to be transgender and demanding that they be allowed to use restrooms, locker rooms, showers, etc. of the sex with which they “identify,” instead of their biological sex. One of the first counties to deal with this was Gloucester, where the school board adopted a reasonable policy that balanced the privacy rights of all students while accommodating the transgender student with an alternative restroom.
This compromise, however, wasn’t good enough for the ACLU, who immediately sued the Gloucester School Board. In September, a federal judge here in Virginia dismissed the ACLU’s discrimination claim, arguing, “[n]ot only is bodily privacy a constitutional right, the need for privacy is even more pronounced in the state education system. The students are almost all minors, and public school education is a protective environment.”
The case is already scheduled to be heard by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond at the end of January.
In the meantime, we are not powerless to confront these new and dangerous threats to the safety and stability of our children and school administrators.
Incredibly, in our culture today, the ACLU and secular elites want you to believe that allowing a middle school female to use a restroom without having a male use the same restroom simply because they “identify” as female is hateful and bigoted.
The vast majority of Virginians and local school boards recognize that we can teach our children to be compassionate and tolerant toward one another without forcing school aged children into vulnerable interactions with opposite sex students in restrooms and locker rooms. We can and we must protect the privacy and dignity of our school aged children from the sex driven agenda of the ACLU and secular elites. We pledge to do just that.
The 2016 General Assembly session begins Wednesday, January 13.