A group of parents in Bethel, Ohio filed a lawsuit against their local school board over new policies that allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity instead of their biological sex. According to the lawsuit, some students are avoiding using the restroom at school because of it.
The parents, who are Christian and Muslim, argue that the policy violates their parental rights, state law, Title IX and religious rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.
“The parental right to direct the education, safety, and upbringing of their children is the oldest fundamental right recognized by the Supreme Court. And the Board’s actions deny these parents the same,” the lawsuit said, adding that the board makes decisions to “keep the community in the dark” and they “refuse to answer basic questions parents need to know.”
And, the lawsuit pointed out that some students, who are not named in the lawsuit, suffer from “anxiety and emotional distress” over the new transgender bathroom policy. One girl in particular who takes a friend with her to the restroom to make sure no boy “violates her modesty”:
The Plaintiffs’ children identified in Paragraph 66 hold their urine and avoid using the restroom at school if at all possible. If the students have to use the restroom, it causes them anxiety and emotional distress because of Bethel’s policies. It also assaults their modesty as they fear that they will be exposed to the opposite sex. For example, Child No. 3B tries to avoid using the restroom and it causes her anxiety and emotional distress if that is not possible. Sometimes, Child No. 3B goes with a friend to help protect her and make sure that no boy violates her modesty.
Before the new policy was enacted, a member of the faculty allegedly said at a school board meeting that it was "not fair for transgender students to have to use a private restroom away from the main restrooms and that it was not fair for a student who identifies as female to not use the girls’ restroom 'because they were born a man.'" The proponent of the new policy also added that Bethel is a "very conservative area." The lawsuit noted that the policy change “blindsided” parents.
“There was no public discussion, deliberation, or voting of any kind related to intimate facility use being based on gender identity instead of biological sex,” it stated, claiming that this move violated state law.
According to the lawsuit, two Muslim parents offered to use their own resources to create a gender-neutral restroom next to the other restrooms at the school after the policy went into effect.
“Bethel took the donors’ resources and built the restroom but continued in its present course, without telling the donors,” the lawsuit explained.
The parents included in the lawsuit that children as young as fifth grade are required to complete assignments that promote the LGBTQ+ agenda. This began happening unbeknownst to the parents.
“Generations of Americans have grown up in environments that have unquestionably respected students’ personal privacy in intimate spaces, separated by biological sex,” he said. “Yet here we are as a society in the year 2022 subjecting students across this country to the kinds of anti-science, social experiments that would have once been unfathomable and absurd a decade ago.”
“Boys are boys, girls are girls, and every student has the right to privacy in intimate spaces that have been enjoyed by every single generation of students before them,” Hamilton concluded.