The Corner

Feds: Schools Must Grant Mentally Disturbed Boy Unfettered Access to Girls’ Locker Room

The Department of Education has lost its mind:

Federal education authorities, staking out their firmest position yet on an increasingly contentious issue, found Monday that an Illinois school district violated anti-discrimination laws when it did not allow a transgender student who identifies as a girl and participates on a girls’ sports team to change and shower in the girls’ locker room without restrictions.

Let me get this straight — if the school district allowed someone to post pictures of a nude man in a classroom, that would be blocked as sexual harassment, but if a nude boy changes next to women in a locker room, that’s equality? Apparently so:

In a letter sent Monday, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education told the Palatine district that requiring a transgender student to use private changing and showering facilities was a violation of that student’s rights under Title IX, a federal law that bans sex discrimination. The student, who identifies as female but was born male, should be given unfettered access to girls’ facilities, the letter said.

And you have to love the anti-science sanctimony from the ACLU:

“What our client wants is not hard to understand: She wants to be accepted for who she is and to be treated with dignity and respect — like any other student,” said John Knight, the director of the L.G.B.T. and H.I.V. Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, who is representing the student. “The district’s insistence on separating my client from other students is blatant discrimination. Rather than approaching this issue with sensitivity and dignity, the district has attempted to justify its conduct by challenging my client’s identity as a girl.”

“Identity as a girl?” This poor kid doesn’t have a chance. He’s surrounded by people who are indulging his mental challenges, lying to him — as social-justice warriors do — for the sake of a sexual revolutionary ideology so radical that it now even trumps the rights of girls to be free from involuntary exposure to male nudity at school. This won’t end well for the boy, for the girls in the school, or for the use of the law as a rational instrument of justice.

Nor should it end well for the Department of Education. Last year, the DOE issued a memorandum that purported to amend Title IX to add protections for “transgender” students. The use of memoranda to change the law is a favorite tactic of the Obama administration, and it also happens to violate the Administrative Procedure Act. Colleges — in the grips of the radical Left — have been too cowardly to challenge the administration’s legal abuses, but I suspect that public-school districts will be a bit more eager to go to court. They have less to lose and more to gain. Would you want to be the school-board member in a conservative district who meekly acquiesced to Obama-administration lawlessness?

But litigation shouldn’t even be necessary. If the GOP wins the presidency in 2016, a conservative secretary of education can simply revoke all the Obama administration’s lawless Title IX directives, eliminating in one stroke the entire educational system’s legal pretext for its sexual hysteria. New rulemaking can narrow Title IX to its intended scope, and schools and colleges will find that they operate in a radically changed landscape. A smart GOP candidate would do well to call out the Obama administration’s radicalism in the primary and promise to rescue schools from the ideologues. We’ll see who makes the first move.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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