March 28, 2019
She wanted to swim on the boys' team. So, Coon Rapids High tried to do what was best for everyone: it compromised. Turns out, in this brave new world where fantasy trumps reality, that wasn't enough. The girl who wants to be a boy is suing the school. All because they tried to accommodate her.
Like a lot of districts, Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin is in an impossible position. The war between transgender activists and every other student is getting fiercer by the moment. Coon Rapids High was sure it had a solution to please everyone. Instead of forcing a girl to use her own locker room -- or making teenage boys uncomfortable by letting her roam free in theirs -- they built her a place of her own. Spending who-knows-how-much money, the district constructed an "enhanced" locker room in 2016 for her exclusive use, near the boys' locker room but still separate from it.
After going to all the trouble of keeping other students safe -- while still meeting her needs -- Anoka-Hennepin is still being taken to court. According to the ACLU of Minnesota and Gender Justice, Coon Rapids is somehow discriminating against the girl by letting her have her own special space. Earlier this week, the state's Department of Human Rights piled on, announcing that it was joining the lawsuit because "because equal access to public schools for all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, is a civil right protected by the Minnesota Human Rights Act." Deputy Commissioner Irina Vaynerman argued that this girl shouldn't have been singled out. "School districts should have policies and procedures that enable all students to thrive, free from discrimination."
The district, who must feel like it's in a no-win situation, fired back that the goal is "to ensure that all students feel safe and comfortable." Everything, they explain, is decided on a case-by-case basis. "Plans for accommodation for restroom and locker room use are made in consultation with school building administrators, the Title IX coordinator, and superintendent."
Of course, their frustration -- and most everyone else's -- is that this was a perfectly acceptable solution. Coon Rapids managed to grant the girl's wishes without putting the boys in an uncomfortable situation. But the truth is, the other side isn't interested in compromises. They think their right to self-actualize trumps anyone else's right to privacy. They'd rather force other people into embarrassing situations than accept an accommodation that meets everyone's needs.
We've seen this same upside-down logic play out in locker rooms and restrooms around the country. Teenagers like Alexis Lightcap and so many others don't understand why society has decided that the rights of the 99.9 percent are irrelevant. "Schools can and should be compassionate in supporting students who experience gender dysphoria. So should other students. But... an effective policy would be one that secures the privacy of every student — which is nothing more than what every parent and student has a right to expect."
Unfortunately for the parents in the Anoka-Hennepin district, this has all been one long nightmare. Back in 2012, when the families banded together to fight SPLC's pro-LGBT curriculum in schools, the group added them to its ridiculous catalogue of "haters." Even the Obama Department of Justice got involved, smearing the parents in hopes of silencing them on the next ruckus like this one.
For now, Anoka-Hennepin's story ought to be a warning to everyone of what's lurking around the corner of the Equality Act. Liberals would be quite content putting whole populations at risk for a tiny minority of students who have a fleeting flirtation with another gender. Believe it or not, there are 239 House cosponsors who are willing to launch a transgender war on women. "It's a proposal worth taking seriously," Abigail Shrier warns in the Wall Street Journal. Why? "Because it provides a glimpse of the Left's willingness to sacrifice women and girls to those wolves in sheep's clothing -- transgender or not -- who would take advantage of them." And schools, unfortunately, are just the beginning.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.