At School, a Test of Wills over Privacy

At School, a Test of Wills over Privacy

April 16, 2019

Biological boys may be walking into the bathroom, but in some states -- teenage girls are walking out. From Nebraska to Alaska, students are tired of fighting school leaders to feel safe. And if local districts won't listen to their concerns, and parents won't stand up to school officials, then maybe they'll pay attention to the student protests.

The rebellion started in Omaha when a girl was sick of administrators ignoring her about the discomfort a teenage boy was causing in the girls' room. Calling it "humiliating," the girls say it makes them feel vulnerable to undress and share personal space with a student of the opposite sex. Late last week, they decided to prove it. By 10:30 a.m., Abraham Lincoln students started streaming out of the building. "We want our privacy," some chanted. "One over all is not fair."

"I was very proud of how the students peacefully conducted themselves. It's important to us to let students express their opinions as long as it's done in a respectful way," Council Bluffs Community School District Superintendent Vicki Murillo said. And yet, she still has no intentions of changing a policy that sacrifices the comfort of every student on the altar of one.

Out in North Pole, Alaska, things got a little more heated. While some boys went into the girls' restroom to mock the idea that science doesn't matter in biology, one girl felt so threatened by their presence that she forcefully kneed one in the groin to get them out of her space. "Good for her," cheered local Republican Tammie Wilson. "I would have taught my daughter to do the same ... She was where she belonged. They were not.'"

There, too, district officials seemed more concerned with the "emotional security" of some students than the physical safety of all. "There was, and continues to be, conversation among students regarding transgender students at NPHS and the use of restrooms. Teachers, counselors, support staff and administrators are helping students navigate that dialogue. The district provides additional counselors to schools whenever it is determined assistance is needed... We recognize that parents, students and members of our community feel strongly about these issues," Superintendent Karen Gaborik wrote in a statement, "but advocating for the use of violence does not contribute to a safe learning environment."

Obviously, no one is encouraging the use of force -- but what do these schools expect when they're putting girls in a vulnerable position? If a boy abuses the policy to take advantage of a female student, how is she supposed to react? In a debate where the adults are leaving kids alone to fend for themselves, it's no wonder these incidents are getting heated. If the schools aren't going to take a stand for their students' privacy, someone has to.

And it's not as if there aren't reasonable solutions. 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. 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, House Democrats don't see it that way. They want to open up everyone's locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms to men under the so-called "Equality Act." Even more amazingly, the bill has about 240 cosponsors -- many of them moms and dads in their own right. No doubt their sunny attitudes about "tolerance" would vanish if their own daughters came home crying and traumatized. If the parents on Capitol Hill don't get it, we can't afford not to. Join the millions of Americans in local districts all around America demanding real protection for the country's children. Then, contact your House member and tell them to vote no on the Inequality Act!

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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