A federal appeals court handed a much-needed victory to parents with a ruling Friday that approved of policies separating school bathrooms by sex.
In its 7-4 ruling, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the right of school districts to require students to use boys’ or girls’ bathrooms based on their sex rather than allowing them to choose based on their gender identity, Fox News reported.
The ruling came in the case of a girl who identifies as a boy and sought to use the boys’ bathroom at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida.
When school officials denied her request, the student, Drew Adams, sued the St. Johns County School Board in 2017.
A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in her favor in 2020, but the full court decided to hear the case.
The court’s decision Friday was split down political lines, with seven judges appointed by Republican presidents siding with the school district and four appointed by Democrats backing Adams.
Writing the majority decision, Judge Barbara Lagoa — an appointee of former President Donald Trump — said the ruling advances the state’s need to assure the privacy of students in school bathrooms.
“The court is right with their agreement with standing up to the Constitution stating that we are going to follow biological sex,” said parent and activist Angelique Contreras, according to WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida.
11th circuit affirms the ability of public schools to segregate multi-use bathroom facilities based on biological sex. Common sense in law. pic.twitter.com/gtyrXjSLCc
— Scott Herndon (@HerndonforIdaho) December 31, 2022
The student’s legal representative blasted the decision, however.
“This is an aberrant ruling that contradicts the rulings of every other circuit to consider the question across the country,” Tara Borelli of the LGBT advocacy group Lambda Legal told Fox News. “It is also lengthy. We will be reviewing and evaluating this distressing decision over the weekend and will have a fuller response next week.”
It is true that many courts have ruled against parents and upheld school policies allowing transgender students to choose whichever bathroom they would like to use.
The appellate court’s ruling might add one more reason for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up transgender bathroom policies.
Internal records showed members of the Loudoun County School Board knew about the rape reports but chose to ignore them, only later to claim they never knew of the extent of the reports.
The superintendent of that district was eventually fired, but not before months of allegations and denials and an uprising by angry parents.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling is a great outcome to ensure the safety of children. Let’s hope the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the ruling should it hear the case.
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