U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor blocked the Obama’s administration’s directive that school children use bathrooms and other facilities that align with their gender identity regardless of their biological sex.
“It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex” in that law “meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth,” wrote Judge O’Connor in the ruling. “Without question, permitting educational institutions to provide separate housing to male and female students, and separate educational instruction concerning human sexuality, was to protect students’ personal privacy, or discussion of their personal privacy, while in the presence of members of the opposite biological sex.”
Judge O’Connor sided with the school districts opposing Obama’s transgender bathroom directive and determined (just before the first day of school in Texas) that the administration had “failed to comply” with federal rules by not providing directives such as “notice and comment requirements.”
He also pointed out that the law doesn’t keep a student’s privacy in mind.
“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” said Judge O’Connor. “The sensitivity to this matter is heightened because defendants’ actions apply to the youngest child attending school and continues for every year throughout each child’s educational career.”
The Department of Justice responded that they are reviewing their options and are “disappointed in the court’s decision.”
Texas is leading the battle whereas the lone star state and other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin are against the federal government for making this policy change.
Last month, other states launched a suit to stop the new public school bathroom policy. These states include Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
In May, the White House announced that public school’s that didn’t let transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity would be at risk of losing federal funding.
“We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in response to the order. “This goes against the values of so many people.”