4th Circuit rules Va. school district can’t enforce policy that protects students’ privacy in restrooms, locker rooms

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Sharp regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit’s decision Tuesday in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board to prevent a Virginia school district from enforcing its policy that protects students’ privacy and safety by reserving restrooms and changing areas for members of the same biological sex, while providing an alternative private facility for students uncomfortable using a facility that corresponds with their biological sex:

“Protecting students’ privacy while using the restroom, showers, or locker rooms and not forcing them to share intimate settings with members of the opposite sex is not only legal, it’s an important duty of officials who watch over our children. Federal courts across the country, including the 4th Circuit, have consistently upheld this constitutional right of privacy. That’s why it was so disappointing to see the 4th Circuit refuse to recognize the multitude of ways that its ruling would cause violations of that right. Title IX, the federal law that this lawsuit cites in its attempt to overturn the school district’s policy, does just the opposite of what the ACLU is arguing: Title IX specifically authorizes schools to have separate restrooms and locker rooms for boys and girls. The policy is good because it accommodates students who aren’t comfortable using facilities designated for their biological sex without neglecting the established right of children to bodily privacy and safety.”

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on behalf of The Family Foundation of Virginia in favor of upholding the school district’s commonsense policy. Specifically, the 4th Circuit’s decision reverses the district court’s decision to deny a preliminary injunction against the school district’s policy. The preliminary injunction will suspend the policy while the case continues to be litigated in district court.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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