Thursday, March 23, 2017

School District Responds to Student's Lawsuit Challenging Transgender Accommodations

On Wednesday the Boyertown Area School District responded to a suit filed by a student, identified in legal documents as Joel Doe, who claimed that he was traumatized by a transgender boy using the boys' locker room. Doe claims that the school district violated his right by not restricting facilities to natal males or females.

In a statement (probably written by the school district's lawyers) Dr. Richard H. Faidley took notice of the unprofessional and misleading conduct of Alliance Defending Freedom:
The District, which only learned of the lawsuit and Demand Letter after the plaintiff’s attorneys held a news conference, contests the claims and will appropriately respond and defend its actions that we believe were consistent and compliant with the law. However, it also believes it is important that every student, parent and guardian, and the community at large, know the facts about its policy and practices to ensure an educational environment for everyone that is free of any form of discrimination.
It would not have made any difference but the school should have received the demand letter prior to a suit being filed:

Contrary to my original post, the school district made a substantial effort to resolve this matter directly with the student:
The BASD is firmly committed through our words and actions to treating every student, and member of our community with respect, dignity, and sensitivity in accordance with all applicable laws. The administration and staff, contrary to the allegations, offered the student-plaintiff reasonable and appropriate alternatives when he voiced opposition to changing in a designated male locker room being used by a transgender student. We also discussed those options with his guardians, explaining that at the time we were following the law of the land. Even though the Federal government’s position has changed since then, we are now guided by a recent Federal court ruling in a Pennsylvania case, and await additional guidance from the State of Pennsylvania.
Faidley is sensitive to the issue:
As our nation struggles to balance the rights of individuals and groups regarding this challenging but very real issue, we ask all students, parents and community members to treat each other with the same degree of respect, dignity, and sensitivity. We are committed and confident that working together we can reach a satisfactory resolution that is consistent with our mission “to enable all students to succeed in a changing world.”
We will know more when a specific judge is identified. The immediate issue will be an injunction which will probably fail. ADFwill then appeal the district court's ruling. The conservative Christian calculus is that the more moving parts, the better for soliciting donations. In the real world people do not appeal every adverse decision because of the economic burden of appellate legal fees. ADF is not part of the real world.

Taxpayers are funding both sides of this manufactured controversy. ADF is funded by tax-deductible contributions and taxpayers pay the legal fees incurred by the school district.

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