- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

Nearly a dozen Minnesota families are suing their school district for failing to take action after their daughters were exposed to a transgender male student allegedly twerking and engaging in other sexual behavior in the girls’ locker room.

The lawsuit concerns Minnesota’s Virginia Public Schools, which changed its restroom and locker room policy in response to the Obama administration order in May compelling public schools nationwide to regulate intimate sex-segregated facilities on the basis of gender identity.

The transgender student, only identified as “Student X” in the complaint, would allegedly dance to lewd music while in the locker room, including by “twerking, grinding, and lifting up his skirt to reveal his underwear” in front of high school girls.

He is also accused of following two female students seeking privacy in a secondary locker room and disrobing in front of them.

Student X also allegedly questioned one female student about her bra size and then asked her to “trade body parts” with him.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Wednesday by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, also names the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice as defendants, citing the Obama administration’s threat to withhold federal education funding from schools that do not integrate intimate facilities on the basis of gender identity.

“School policies should promote the rights and safety of every student, but that’s not what Virginia Public Schools is doing — and it’s certainly not what the departments of Education and Justice are doing,” said ADF senior counsel Gary McCaleb in a statement. “No child should be forced into an intimate setting, like a locker room, with someone of the opposite sex.”

ADF legal counsel Doug Wardlow said the Obama administration edict misinterprets Title IX’s prohibition on “sex” discrimination in education.

“Federal bureaucrats cannot simply write letters to redefine the meaning of a federal law to serve their own political ends,” Mr. Wardlow said in a statement. “The Department of Education went beyond what it is legally and constitutionally allowed to do, and the DOJ is out of bounds in enforcing the DOE’s false interpretation of the law.”

The Minnesota families formed the group Privacy Matters in order to combat the policy change. They join a growing number of parents, students and school boards who have challenged the legitimacy of the Obama administration order.

A group of 51 families in Palatine, Illinois, filed a lawsuit in May after Township High School District 211 implemented a policy permitting access to restrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity.

The Highland Local School District in central Ohio also filed a lawsuit in June after the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights demanded it permit access to locker rooms, showers, restrooms and sleeping arrangements on the basis of gender identity.

And after North Carolina and the Department of Justice filed dueling lawsuits against each other in May over a law regulating public facilities on the basis of biological sex, North Carolinians for Privacy sued the Obama administration for forcing them to choose between the privacy and safety of their children and funding for education.

A federal judge in Texas halted implementation of the edict nationwide last month, saying the Obama administration failed to follow administrative rule-making regulations, including notice and comment.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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