A California legal group says The Golden State needs to learn a lesson from an incident in Colorado where a male student, who occasionally self-identifies as a female, is being permitted to use the girls' restrooms.
Earlier this month, attorneys with Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) sent a legal demand letter to officials at Florence High School in Colorado, asking them to respect the privacy rights of students. The letter was sent in response to the school's decision to allow a teenage boy to enter the girls' bathrooms. According to the female students, the boy also made sexually harrassing comments to the girls he encountered.
PJI president Brad Dacus spoke with OneNewsNow about the incident.
"This school district in Colorado, by placating and allowing this boy to, at will, use the girls' restrooms or the girls' lockerrooms – simply because sometimes he says feels like a girl – is an egregious violation of the right to privacy of the other students,” says Dacus. “Particularly the young girls in the school who do not appreciate having a boy walk in when they are dressing in the locker room or showering or using the bathroom."
PJI notes that some of the female students were freshman who felt very uncomfortable about the situation.
With California's controversial transgender bathroom bill set to go into effect next year, Dacus is warning officials of issues that will arise from the law – similar, perhaps, to what happened in Colorado. AB 1266, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on August 12 (and taking effect January 1, 2014), allows students K-12 to participate in sex-segregated facilites and activities consistent with the sex they indentify with.
"We cannot allow young people to have their rights of privacy so egregiously disrespected and mentally and emotionally harmed just because of a few fanatical activists wishing to push their cause at the extent of everyone else,”
Parents who expressed their concerns to school officials were told the boy's transgender rights trumped the privacy rights of the female students. School officials also threatened to remove students from athletic teams or charge them with hate crimes if they continued to voice their opposition to the situation.
Since the story broke two weeks ago, Dacus says transgender advocates have gone into “damage control mode” in an attempt to make it appear the incident at Florence High School was fabricated. He says they are doing that “because they know how explosive and damaging to their cause this story is.”
According to PJI, the school superintendent granted an interview to a transgender activist about the incident in which she defended the school’s actions and dismissed some of the allegations – resulting in several news websites removing or retracting their stories instead of investigating further.