Federal Judge Rejects Parents’ Lawsuit Seeking to End Ohio School District’s Gender-Identity Bathroom Policy

Craig Bannister | August 8, 2023
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In a blow to Christian and Muslim parents and their children, a federal judge has upheld a policy in an Ohio school district that allows students to use bathrooms based on their self-identified gender, rather than biological sex.

The ruling, issued Monday by Judge Michael Newman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, dismisses the concerns of parents of children attending Bethel Local Schools who believe their rights have been infringed upon and that their children's safety, privacy and religious beliefs have been compromised.

The bathroom policy, which was implemented without community input, has faced backlash from a coalition of Christian and Muslim parents represented by America First Legal. These parents argue that bathroom usage should be based on biological sex for a variety of reasons, including safety, privacy, modesty, and religious beliefs.

Despite these concerns, Judge Newman ruled that parents do not have a constitutional right to challenge a school's policy on bathroom usage. This decision disregards the rights of parents to have a say in their child's education and the potential risks associated with allowing students to use facilities based solely on their “identified” gender.

By failing to consider the safety and well-being of all students in creating a policy that respects everyone's rights, the ruling overlooks the genuine concerns of parents who worry about the potential for abuse and invasion of privacy in these shared facilities.

The judge’s argument that the bathroom policy eliminates discrimination is flawed. By disregarding biological sex and solely relying on self-professed “gender identity,” the district opens the door to potential abuse and discomfort for students who feel uncomfortable or unsafe sharing facilities with individuals of the opposite biological sex.

Last December, a Virginia school district was found to have grievously mishandled multiple sexual assaults in order to defend its imposition of a gender-fluid bathroom policy on students, according to a report by The National Review:

“Loudoun County Public Schools was delinquent in its handling of the multiple high-profile sexual-assaults that occurred in the district last year, a special grand jury found, shedding further light on the events that helped inspire a massive parental-rights uprising in Virginia.

“Administrators in the district pursued their own interest instead of that of their students, according to a report released by the grand jury on Monday.

“Between May and October of 2021, the same male high-school student allegedly sexually assaulted two females in the LCPS district. The first incident happened in the girl’s bathroom at Stone Bridge High School (SBHS), where the ‘gender-fluid’ perpetrator, who was wearing a skirt at the time, allegedly sodomized a ninth-grade girl.”