Indiana School District Renews Fight Over Transgender Bathroom Use

An Indiana school district is doubling down on its fight to keep biological males out of girls’ bathrooms. The Metropolitan School District of Martinsville filed an appeal late last month after an appeals court opened the door for boys to enter the girls’ restrooms.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed its earlier decision to “preserve the autonomy of school boards to make decisions.”

A lower court previously determined that Martinsville and the Vigo County School Corporation must permit students to use bathrooms aligned with their “gender identity.” This followed student lawsuits filed in 2021.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) already sided with the school system. He declared there are dark forces at work in this battle that have more far-reaching goals than allowing boys to use girls’ restrooms. “This is about dividing children from their parents.”

Rokita is the head of a 21-state coalition that works to enable school districts to enact policies keeping their bathrooms gender specific.

Under these rules, students must use facilities aligned with the gender listed on their birth certificates and not their “gender identity.”

The 2021 lawsuit claimed that some of the district’s children suffer from medically diagnosed gender dysphoria. This should mean, the filing asserted, that they may use the bathroom that aligns with their perceived gender.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana came to the defense of those wanting to invade the spaces of the opposite gender.

ACLU legal director Ken Falk argued that “students who are denied access to the appropriate facilities are caused both serious emotional and physical harm as they are denied recognition of who they are.”

He added that these students will often avoid using the bathroom while they are at school.

Twin 15-year-old students in the system claimed that their gender dysphoria and a colon condition affected their ability to use the restroom. This, they asserted, should enable them to use male facilities.

A 13-year-old middle school student declared the district violated Title IX protections that prohibit discrimination based on gender. The 1972 act prohibits federal funding from any system that violates its standards.

These issues are cropping up across the nation, and they are begging for Supreme Court intervention. It will not be a surprise for the high court to step in and establish clarity on the critical issue of protecting gender-specific spaces.

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