Fla. Mom Challenges School Bathroom Policy

     JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CN) — A mother of four claims in court that a Florida school system deprives her children of the right to bodily privacy by allowing transgender students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.
     Wryshona Isaac sued Duval County Public Schools and school officials in Duval County Circuit Court on Monday.
     The lawsuit was filed after a letter was sent out Friday, which stated that a student could not be discriminated against based on their transgender status and summarized schools’ Title IX obligations to transgender students.
     Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 1681, states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
     Duval County Public Schools have stated the school district will “continue to adhere to federal laws and will comply with federal government’s directive on transgender students using bathroom[s] corresponding with gender identity,” the complaint states.
     Isaac alleges that the school district’s “blind adoption as its policy of the guidance of the May 13th joint letter, is factually and legally baseless and a blatant violation of the privacy rights of children.”
     “Plaintiff believes that with respect to her children, that the policy adopted by DCPS will result in significant emotional turmoil, psychological damage, confusion relating to their own sexual identification, and ultimately distract from or destroy their educational environment,” the lawsuit states.
     Isaac seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against the policy, claiming “children face a radical change in their educational environment as a result of DCPS policy and the concomitant violation of their privacy rights.” She is represented by Wesley White in Jacksonville.
     “We’re about anti-discrimination and bound to follow the law,” Duval County School Board member Scott Shine told Courthouse News in a Monday morning phone interview. “The letter has specific dictates the district has to follow.”
     Shine, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said he wasn’t able to offer further comment on the litigation.
     In addition to Duval County Public Schools and Shine, the other named defendants are Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti and school board members Cheryl Grymes, Ashley Smith Juarez, Paula D. Wright, Connie Hall, Becki Couch and Jason Fischer.

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