Five Pennsylvania School Board Members Fight for Bathroom Sanity
Five Pennsylvania School Board Members Fight for Bathroom Sanity
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   11.18.16

Laurie's Chinwags_thumbnailGlimmers of light shimmer in the darkness that has been spreading within public schools.  The darkness is caused by a fog of science-denying ignorance imposed on school districts from within by teachers and administrators who view themselves as agents of social, political, and moral change and from without by “trans” activists from organizations like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the ACLU, and Lambda Legal.

The newest battle is taking place in Pine-Richland High School in western Pennsylvania where on September 12, 2016,  five courageous school board members voted to establish policy requiring students to use either the restrooms that correspond to their biological sex, or a single-occupancy “unisex” restroom, or a single-occupancy restroom in the nurse’s office.

But these generous accommodations were not enough for three gender-dysphoric students. Following the board decision, two boys who are pretending to be girls and one girl who is pretending to be a boy filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the district, the superintendent, and the principal.

One of the students, Jacob Evancho (brother of America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho) who now goes by the name “Juliet,” claims that before he was required to use sex-appropriate restrooms, “Pine-Richland was a safe, and kind…place. Everyone was so sweet.”

His comment illustrates one of the many problems with policies that permit gender-dysphoric students to use opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms. These policies teach all students that in order to be kind, sweet, compassionate, and inclusive, they must pretend that biological sex per se has no meaning relative to modesty, and they must be willing to relinquish their privacy. Sex-integrated restroom and locker room policies teach all students that people’s  feelings about their sex trump their actual sex in private spaces.

But the school district is resisting. It has filed a lawsuit asking that the discrimination lawsuit be dismissed.

Lambda Legal, an organization that fights for co-ed restrooms and locker rooms for children and teens, and which is representing the three gender-dysphoric students in this lawsuit castigates the school district for their “shameful” actions, suggesting that opposition to co-ed restrooms renders gender-dysphoric students unable to “fully participate in their education.”

Why does requiring gender-dysphoric students to use restrooms with those whose “gender identity” they don’t share prevent them from being able to fully participate in their education, but requiring non-gender-dysphoric students (i.e., normal students) to use restrooms with persons whose sex they don’t share doesn’t prevent them from being able to fully participate in their education?

“Juliet’s” mother Lisa Evancho says this about the policy:

It makes me angry. It makes me wonder what kind of Neanderthals…think it’s appropriate to go in there and start picking on a particular segment of the population and make it all about them.

Why does the desire of normal students to use restrooms or locker rooms with only students whose sex they share constitute “picking on a segment of the population,” while demands by gender-dysphoric students to use restrooms or locker rooms with only students whose “gender identity” they share does not constitute “picking on a segment of the population”? Why is it unkind to require students to use restrooms with persons of their same sex but requiring  students to use restrooms with persons of the opposite sex is a sign of kindness?

If there are two distinct phenomena (i.e., biological sex which is constituted by objective DNA/anatomy/biology and “gender identity” which is constituted by subjective feelings/desires), why should restroom and locker room usage correspond to “gender identity” rather than objective biological sex?

“Juliet” Evancho claims that using a single-occupancy unisex restroom “marginalizes” him. In reality, however, it is not the policy that marginalizes him. It is his decision to acquiesce to his disordered desire to be the sex he is not and can never be that marginalizes him.

No one should be compelled to pretend Evancho is what he is not. But that’s exactly what the Left believes should happen. Since in the dystopian world of “progressivism,” subjective feelings trump all other considerations—including morality and reality—everyone must bend the knee to feelings, including even disordered, irrational, science-denying feelings.

Well, let me qualify that: Not all feelings are treated equally. The feelings of modesty that boys and girls and men and women who don’t want to share restrooms or locker rooms with persons of the opposite sex experience mean nothing. In fact, to Leftists such feelings are Neanderthal, ignorant, and hateful and must be eradicated.


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Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins became the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children and ten grandchildren....
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