Obama Administration ‘Guides’ Schools on Making Bathrooms Nondiscriminatory

On Friday, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice released a letter telling teachers that any “sex-segregated activities” (such as letting students use the bathroom or locker room showers, rooming on school trips or sharing a dorm room, playing on sports teams) must make room for transgender students who might feel discriminated against by being required to use facilities that don’t fit their subjective gender identity.

The federal government is attempting to dictate how to best accommodate a child as young as five years old’s “subjective gender identity” through the stages of adulthood. It is a major overreach by the U.S. government into the minutia of how our school systems are run, and the environment in which our children learn and live. This will also infringe on a parents right to raise their children without Federal interference.

This Administration purports to be a champion of the poor yet this mandate will probably affect the underprivileged more than any other group. Wealthier demographics will be able to afford to pull their children out of public schools when this mandate is adopted, while the lower income bracket kids will be subjected to showering in the same rooms as members of the opposite biological sex, and their parents won’t be able to do anything about it.

It is not within the role of the federal government to issue mandates to every public education institution across America on how to handle its bathrooms and facilities. If such a move were to be taken, it should require legislative action. But, this latest bathroom guidance didn’t have even a whiff of participation by Congress.

White House Secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement to assure the American people that the letter is just “guidance” that was requested by schools across the country and “does not add any additional requirements under the law.” However, while that may be technically true, the letter threatens schools’ Title IX funding if they don’t comply and warns them that they may face lawsuits.

This Administration has prided itself on working to prevent sexual assault, and now it has handed down a dictate that will allow not only transgendered individuals into the opposite sex’s bathroom, locker room, shower or dorm, but also anyone who claims to identify as a transgender individual.

James Gottry of the Alliance Defending Freedom says it well when he paints the theoretical picture of a man named Jack: “Imagine Jack doesn’t subjectively identify as a female. Instead, Jack recognizes that policies like those promoted by the DOJ provide an opportunity for him to enter a woman’s restroom… under a policy that enables any individual to use any restroom, simply by claiming a particular gender identity, it makes it easier for predators to access intimate settings and citizens will be dissuaded from voicing any concern or acting to ensure the safety and privacy of the vulnerable.”

This Administration claims its intention is to prevent victimization of transgendered individuals, but it’s wide-sweeping mandate is creating new victims in what is supposed to be a safe and private environment, victims that the White House has supposedly led the campaign to help.

In response to this enormous overreach by the Administration, I immediately joined my colleagues to write a letter to the President asking him to completely remove these disastrous requirements disguised as “guidance.”

The whole purpose of men’s facilities and women’s facilities is privacy, and this Administration is violating the privacy of our women and children in a place where they’re supposed to be learning and sometimes living. The premise of this bathroom equality movement is based on making a certain group experience no discomfort, but it does so in a way that costs the comfort and safety of the sweeping majority.

Here are just a few of the victims this mandate has created. Who is thinking about the self-conscious 12-year-old girl who has to use the bathroom in the stall next to her male classmate, or the class of 16-year-olds who must change clothes and shower in the locker room with someone of the opposite sex? Does their discomfort not matter?

Lastly, what about the loving couple who makes the wonderful decision to adopt a little girl that has been the victim of sexual assault, that now must face the fact that they must send their child into a school that puts her at risk by making her share bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers with students of the opposite sex? What about that child that had an abuser that liked to watch her in the shower, or the college student that it took all of her emotional strength to work up using the locker rooms before the mandate? Forget discomfort — who is providing safety both physically and emotionally for our women and children?

The Department of Education and the Department of Justice have put political correctness and the wishes of powerful special interest groups before our women and children. This must not stand.