The pro-religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom announced on Monday that they are appealing a case challenging the policy of allowing individuals who identify as transgender share locker rooms with members of the opposite biological sex.
It all started when a young woman , Alexis Lightcap, walked into the girls’ restroom at school and was extremely unnerved and startled to see the reflection of a boy in the mirror. She saw him and instinctively ran out of the restroom and immediately made her way to her teacher and reported the incident.
According to Alliance Defending Freedom, “Later that day, she sat in the principal’s office and explained what had happened. After jotting down a few notes on a yellow sticky [note], the principal explained to Alexis that the boy had a right to be in her restroom. The Boyertown Area School District had changed its policies to allow students to use the locker rooms and restrooms consistent with their beliefs about their own gender.”
Outrageously, this is the first Alexis had heard of the new policy. The school district had failed to notify both the parents and the students themselves of the change. Consequently, seeing the outcomes of the new policy in action was quite shocking to more than just Alexis.
Similarly to the situation involving Alexis, a male student was undressing in the boys’ locker room when he looked up to see a female undressing nearby. Concerned, he decided to talk to the school administration about it, but he was told to “tolerate it,” and just make the experience of sharing a locker room with a member of the opposite sex as “natural” as possible.
However, the truth is that forcing students to be in these types of uncomfortable situations is not natural. In fact, it can be incredibly traumatizing for past victims of sexual assault and abuse to suddenly have these situations forced on them – especially with no prior knowledge of the new policy implemented by the school district.
Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit against the policy in 2017 to defend the right to privacy for people like Alexis who are speaking out and sharing their stories. Alexis is the plaintiff in the case, Doe v. Boyertown Area School District. However, in May of this year, the US Court of Appeals rejected Alliance Defending Freedom’s legal challenge. Alexis shared how the “ruling was very disappointing, and made me feel—again—like my voice was not heard. Every student’s privacy should be protected.”
When the US Court of Appeals ruled against Alexis and her fellow students, ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb stated that the decision by the US Court of Appeals was ignoring previous precedent set by the Supreme Court:
“The Supreme Court has already spoken: The real differences between men and women mean that privacy must be protected where it really counts, and that certainly includes high school locker rooms and restrooms. This decision is out of step with longstanding legal protection for privacy. We will continue advocating for these young students.”
Together, Alexis and Alliance Defending Freedom are asking the Supreme Court to review their case, uphold past precedent and protect the privacy of students.