Stu­dents in pri­vacy law­suit file ap­peal

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Blan­chard rblan­chard@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @boy­er­town­times on Twit­ter

The plain­tiffs in Joel Doe vs. Boy­er­town Area School District have ap­pealed a judge’s rul­ing to up­hold the district’s con­tro­ver­sial bath­room and locker room pol­icy that al­lows trans­gen­der stu­dents to choose the fa­cil­ity of the gen­der to which they iden­tify.

The case in­volves four Boy­er­town High School stu­dents and one re­cent grad­u­ate. The stu­dents claim the district’s un­writ­ten bath­room and locker room pol­icy vi­o­lated their con­sti­tu­tional right to pri­vacy.

The stu­dents want the school district to re­turn to its pre­vi­ous prac­tice of per­mit­ting stu­dents to only use the bath­room and locker room fa­cil­i­ties cor­re­spond­ing to their bi­o­log­i­cal gen­der.

Jeremy Samek, se­nior coun­sel at Independence Law Cen-

ter, is serv­ing as co-coun­sel with Al­liance De­fend­ing Free­dom in the law­suit again the Boy­er­town Area School District. He says the case is about pri­vacy for stu­dents and con­firmed the de­ci­sion to ap­peal on Mon­day, Sept. 25.

The case will now make its way through the U.S. Court of Ap­peals for the 3rd District. At­tor­neys say that process could take a cou­ple of months.

“We’re dis­ap­pointed be­cause we think all chil­dren de­serve to be able to go to school and know their pri­vacy and safety is pro­tected when they use bath­rooms and locker rooms,” said Samek in Au­gust fol­low­ing the court’s de­ci­sion not to grant an in­junc­tion on be­half of the stu­dents. “We think that be­liefs about our gen­der shouldn’t be a li­cense to vi­o­late pri­vacy in­side boys’ and girls’ locker rooms and re­strooms, that re­ally de­feats the pur­pose of hav­ing sex sep­a­rated fa­cil­i­ties in the first place.”

The school district has not re­leased a state­ment re­gard­ing the mo­tion to ap­peal.

To ad­dress con­cerns sur­round­ing pri­vacy and safety, and to bet­ter ac­com­mo­date the needs of stu­dents, Boy­er­town Area School District is cur­rently ex­plor­ing po­ten­tial fa­cil­ity mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

A pre­sen­ta­tion re­gard­ing the KCBA Ar­chi­tects’ plan of ad­dress­ing these is­sues was made at the Aug. 22 school board meet­ing. The school board de­cided to move for­ward with the pro­posed plan of gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion and send­ing out a com­mu­nity sur­vey.

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