Durham Public Schools

Durham school district’s proposed bathroom policy jeopardizes children’s privacy, safety ADF, KeepNCSafe letter explains that no law requires letting members of the opposite sex into public school bathrooms

Raleigh-Durham – Alliance Defending Freedom and KeepNCSafe sent a letter to Durham Public Schools Thursday that asks it to reject a proposed policy that would allow children to use bathrooms of the opposite sex. The letter provides a suggested policy that addresses the school district’s concerns about discrimination without opening restrooms, showers, and locker rooms to opposite-sex usage.

North Carolina law protects student privacy by requiring all public schools to maintain sex-specific restrooms, showers, and locker rooms, while providing accommodations for those uncomfortable using the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex.  Durham Public School’s proposed policy would directly violate North Carolina law, strip students of their constitutional right to privacy, and blatantly disregard the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives.

Furthermore, as the letter explains, no law, including Title IX, requires public schools to allow boys into girls’ restrooms or girls into boys’ restrooms.  The letter also warns that the district could be exposing itself to legal liability for violating the right of students to bodily privacy.

 

“No child should be forced into an intimate setting-like a restroom or a locker room-with a person of the opposite sex.  And protecting young children from exposure to members of the opposite sex in such settings is not only legal, it’s an important duty of officials who watch over our children,” said ADF Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “Letting boys into girls’ restrooms is an invasion of privacy and a threat to children’s safety. The school district is subjecting itself to potential liability if any of these children encounter any harm.”

The ADF letters cite pertinent legal precedent, including court rulings that support the ability of public schools to limit restrooms and locker rooms to members of the same sex for privacy and safety reasons without violating Title IX, a federal law concerning sex discrimination in public school programs and activities.

Title IX and its regulations specifically state that a school receiving federal funds can “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” without putting that funding at risk.

“Allowing students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms would seriously endanger students’ privacy and safety, undermine parental authority, violate religious students’ free exercise rights, and severely impair an environment conducive to learning.,” the letter explains. “ADF’s policy allows your District to accommodate students with unique privacy needs, including transgender students, while also protecting other students’ privacy and free exercise rights, and parents’ right to educate their children.”

“Every child deserves a safe space, and it’s our duty as parents to fight for their right to privacy,” added NC Values Coalition Executive Director Tami L. Fitzgerald. “Schools can accommodate students that have different preferences without compromising the rights and completely understandable needs of other children and their parents.  This is commonsense-biology not feelings should determine how our schools maintain intimate facilities and protect our children.”