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Posts for May 2013

Locker Room Surprise – Mother Takes Action

What would you do if your high school aged daughter had to share a locker room with a male student?

 

This is exactly what’s happening with our new client, Mary (please note: real names have been concealed to protect their identity and privacy at this time).  Mary is a single mother, and her daughter Vanessa is a sophomore in high school who recently transferred to a charter school in Los Angeles.  Vanessa had quite a surprise when she went to her PE class and found that a boy who identifies as a girl (and dresses in a feminine manner) is not only allowed to be in the girls’ PE class, but also use the same locker room as the girls!

          Vanessa and this boy, Alex, both have lockers in the same row in the locker room – away from all of the other girls.  Shortly after she joined the class, Vanessa began to be harassed by Alex.  First of all, she had to change clothes in front of this boy, as changing into PE clothes was a requirement for the class.  Meanwhile, Alex rarely, if ever, changed his clothes.  He would watch Vanessa change at times and make comments on her appearance, even touching her hair.

This situation understandably made Vanessa feel uncomfortable and quite vulnerable.  Despite whatever personal identity Alex feels, he is still a boy, and Vanessa did not want to change in front of him day after day.  After awhile, Vanessa started sharing a locker with a friend, away from the isolated area that she had shared with Alex.

Vanessa soon became a target and was “bullied” by Alex and his friend.  At break times, Alex would often hang out in the girls’ restroom, making other girls uncomfortable, too.  One time, another female student said that Alex and a female friend of his stood over one of the bathroom stalls and looked into the next stall – where she was using the facilities!  When Vanessa would enter the restroom, Alex would frequently make her the subject of his verbal harassment, and even some physical intimidation.

          How does something like this even happen to our children?  Why are schools disregarding the privacy and protection of young girls?In 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger of California passed Senate Bill (SB) 777, which essentially changed the definition of gender, saying:

          “‘Gender’ means sex, and includes a person’s gender identity and gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.”

It also allowed students to participate in school activities and use school facilities based on the gender they choose.  That means that boys who identify as girls can legally participate in girls-only classes/activities and use the girls’ restrooms/locker rooms.  Recently, the California State Assembly passed a bill, AB 1266, which essentially restates this law, but adds the opportunity for students to participate in sports teams regardless of gender.

As in this case with Vanessa, boys who identify as girls can freely roam around and watch the girls change and harass the girls with comments about their appearance or unwanted touching.Mary, Vanessa’s mother, told us, “Without a doubt, these issues need to be addressed. We have constitutional rights, and such a school with the upmost integrity for education should also reflect on the Administration. As parents, we try to trust our children’s actions and choices, but when it comes to the safety and well-being of our children in school, who can we trust to create that safe environment? Boys should be in boys’ locker rooms as girls should be in their own. Hasn’t it always been that way?”

Article I of the California Constitution states that “[a]ll people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these [is] . . . privacy.”  In the case of York v. Story, the Ninth Circuit stated that it could not “conceive of a more basic subject of privacy than the naked body. The desire to shield one’s unclothed figure from [the] view of strangers, and particularly strangers of the opposite sex, is impelled by elementary self-respect and personal dignity.”  How will girls like Vanessa get the privacy they are promised by law if boys are suddenly allowed to share their locker rooms and bathrooms?

We find it astonishing that the constitutional rights of hundreds of female students are ignored for the sake of the statutory right of one student to claim the identity of the opposite sex.We’re currently working to intervene on Vanessa’s behalf, first by writing a letter to the school, indicating Vanessa’s constitutional right to privacy.  If the school does not respond accordingly, we may be forced to bring this case to court, for the protection of Vanessa and other girls who are in similar situations at other schools.

Also, we will be contacting the California legislature to share Vanessa’s story.  AB 1266 is now pending in the California Senate, and we hope that our representatives will understand that this bill would be harmful to our students and a new bill should be passed to prevent schools from allowing this invasion of privacy.

We ask for your prayers as we pursue this matter and the grander issue of challenging AB 1266.  If you or someone you know is in a similar situation as Vanessa, please contact us!  We want to show the State that invading the privacy of our students is not okay!

God bless you,
Robert Tyler
General Counsel

Parents, consider keeping your kids home from school on Wednesday!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 22, many schools in California will celebrate “Harvey Milk Day.”  Harvey Milk was an openly gay politician in San Francisco and a homosexual rights activist.

In 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 572 into law, which proclaimed that every May 22nd would be “Harvey Milk Day” and could be celebrated in K-12 schools.  The bill says this about Harvey Milk:
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“…perhaps more than any other modern figure, Harvey Milk’s life and political career embody the rise of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement in California, across the nation, and throughout the world.”  Read More

Hear from an Abortion Survivor

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Tonight, May 14 at 7:00 pm, we will be putting on an event along with Student Venture and California Family Council at Calvary Chapel in Murrieta, CA, where a woman will share her story of surviving the abortion experience.   She will also share advice for young women and men about what to do if you experience an unwanted pregnancy, a situation she found herself in.  Read More

Planned Parenthood is at it Again

         Planned Parenthood has sponsored and is a key advocate of AB 154 in California – a bill that would dramatically increase the number of abortions in this state.

According to Planned Parenthood, the bill would “address the current shortage of health care professionals able to provide early abortion care in California” and reduce long wait times.  If passed, the bill would allow nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified midwives to perform first trimester abortions by means of aspiration (suctioning out the contents of the uterus) or medication (drugs that end a pregnancy).
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Not only is this an affront to the value of life, but this could also be a potential safety issue for pregnant mothers.   Allowing non-physicians to administer these procedures could possibly result in a higher risk of complications. Read More