Student Sues School District After 'Humiliation' Of Sharing Locker Room With Transgender Boy

by Meredith Bland
Originally Published: 
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Lawsuit alleges student’s rights were violated

Today we’d like to tell you a tale about terrible people and the children they influence. See, sometimes, when two people love each other very much, they decide to have a baby. And sometimes, either because those people are assholes or are surrounded by assholes, that baby takes on the form of an asshole as well. And that appears to be what has happened to a high school junior in Pennsylvania.

A student identified only as “Joel Doe” and his parents filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Boyertown Area School District after claiming that he has suffered “emotional harm” by sharing a locker room with a transgender boy. Represented by lawyers from the Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom, a name that we find deeply ironic, the boy’s suit asks for his school to “suspend a school policy that lets transgender students use facilities that match their gender identity,” according to Buzzfeed. The suit argues that this is a violation of the boy’s rights.

Here’s how this all went down: Joel Doe was getting changed for P.E. when he noticed a transgender boy in the locker room wearing only shorts and a bra. The end.

Oh, wait. Sorry, it’s actually way worse than that. See, this young man, who as a junior must be 16- or 17-years-old, was embarrassed. Embarrassed, we say! The lawsuit claims that upon seeing this other student, “Joel Doe experienced immediate confusion, embarrassment, humiliation, and loss of dignity upon finding himself in this circumstance and quickly put his clothes on and left the locker room.” He went to the principal, who informed him of the school’s policy and told him to “tolerate” it and act “natural.”

Apparently, this incident has had quite the effect on poor Joel, who is distracted during class, has refused to change for P.E., and tries to hold it all day rather than use the restrooms at school. Not peeing at school has been particularly devastating, because, says the suit, “failing to timely void urine has direct and adverse physiological effects, and the Defendants’ policy inhibits Joel Doe from timely voiding.”

The suit (which refers to the transgender boy as female because of course it does) also argues that the school district “secretly authorized a student of the opposite sex to have unrestricted access to enter and use boys’ private facilities.” Whatever that means.

Is Joel Doe a little turd? Quite possibly. But the people we’re disgusted with are his parents and the adults who are supporting him in this lawsuit. It’s possible that somehow Joel was unaware of the school’s transgender policy and had not been educated about what it means to be transgender and therefore was genuinely confused by seeing a “girl” in the locker room. But this kid isn’t a second-grader, he’s in high school, and while we’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s a minor, if you’re not peeing all day long because you’re afraid you might see a transgender boy in the bathroom, then there are some serious issues there. And those issues are being fueled and supported by his bigoted parents, who should be ashamed of themselves for involving their son in this joke of a lawsuit.

This is a perfect example of what happens when we pass our hatred and biases onto our kids: we get lawsuits because some insecure kid feels embarrassed. Whose problem is it that this kid feels “humiliated”? It’s certainly not the fault of the transgender boy, who by all accounts was doing nothing more than getting changed, and who, by the way, has every right to be who he is and has the same right to privacy as his accuser. It is heartbreaking to see kids get dragged into the fucked-up issues their parents have, and it’s shameful that rather than be told to respect his classmate this boy was told that his rights are more important than someone else’s simply because they’re different.

Are we ever, ever going to learn?

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