US judge rules parents cannot evict trans students from school bathrooms
9 August 2023 - A USA federal judge refused extremist parents to sue a school in Ohio. They wanted to force the school to evict a trans student from public school toilets. He said it is clear that a parent has the right to control where their child goes to school, but that is where their control ends. Public school policies like the use of student bathrooms are for the school to decide. His judgement is a breath of fresh air in an increasingly foul-smelling extremist right-wing campaign.
Photo: In 2016, the Dutch Minister of Education Ms. Bussemaker made all toilets in the Ministry of Education gender-neutral
Once more the corrupted argument of freedom of religion
The anti-trans parents petitioned to stop the Ohio Bethel Local School District’s policy that allows a single transgender middle school student to use the restroom that aligns with her gender identity. While the girl was initially forced to use the faculty or nurse’s bathrooms because they were single occupancy, they were frequently occupied. She felt ostracized, humiliated, and targeted by other students who taunted her for using the separate bathroom. School administrators then decided to allow the student to go to the girls’ room.
The parents sued with various constitutional claims, from religious freedom to a right to raise their children as they see fit. Especially the freedom of religion has been used often to claim unlimited freedom of extremist Christians to limit the freedom of others in the public sphere. The argument has been rejected multiple times on principal grounds. But it remains a spearpoint of the ultra-right-wing conservatives in the USA. They don’t care about principles, they only are concerned with pushing their inhuman agenda.
Peter Dankmeijer of GALE says: “it is a typical US example of radical right-wing polarization. It’s scandalous that this politicization happens over the back of vulnerable trans youth. In other countries, it is not such a problem. Americans should look at the example of the Netherlands. Already in 2016, the Minister of Education made all toilets in the ministry gender-neutral. Some people have to get used to it, but that’s all. Americans right-wing groups could better focus on preventing sexist harassment in toilets. Without it, the entire trans-scare would be without fundament.”
Presence of a trans student in a bathroom is not a substantial burden
“Although parents have the right to make decisions about where to send their children to school, they do not have a constitutional right to revoke a school’s policy on student bathroom usage… let alone show that the possible presence of a transgender student in the bathroom is a ‘substantial burden’ to the Plaintiffs’ Free Exercise Clause rights,” judge Michael Newman wrote in his opinion.
Hopefully, this judgement may become a legal trend. Last week a different judge ruled in favor of three transgender students in Indiana whose schools forbade them from using bathrooms matching their gender identities. The court upheld a lower court’s preliminary injunction that said the schools must let trans students use facilities associated with their genders.