The 15-year-old Frederick County Public Schools student and her mother, who sued the Board of Education and superintendent over its transgender policy, have requested to drop the lawsuit.

A judge will still need to sign off on the request to dismiss the case. The request is a motion to dismiss without prejudice, meaning the plaintiff could refile in the future.

The policy, which was passed in June, allows transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity and participate in sports and other activities consistent with that identity, and encourages a gender-neutral dress code.

The student and her mother, under the pseudonyms Mary Smith and Jane Doe, filed the lawsuit in August, arguing the policy violates the student’s right to bodily privacy, and the parent’s right to “care, custody, control, upbringing,” and information regarding her child.

The request for dismissal came one day after the Frederick County Teachers Association requested to intervene as a co-defendant to support school officials.

The 15-year-old student wants the case dismissed because of the stress it has caused, according to the motion.

“Plaintiff minor treats all people with dignity, and has never been and is in fact not discriminatory, and has instead sought to defend and protect her own privacy and speech rights,” the request states. “However, she does not believe that she can continue to prosecute her case without an increase in anxiety and fear of loss of her privacy.”

The plaintiff’s motion states that a Frederick News-Post article — which quoted an intervening defendant — caused the student to arrive home from school in tears.

The request said the student “is exposed to tremendous stress and potential humiliation for bringing and prosecuting this case in defense of her right to privacy.”

Two weeks ago, the Board of Education and the schools superintendent filed a motion to dismiss the case, which has not yet been ruled on.

The American Civil Liberties Union and James Van Kuilenburg, a transgender student at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, requested to intervene as co-defendants in the case that same day, which a judge had also not yet ruled on.

Superintendent Terry Alban said it was “premature to comment, as I’m sure our board is conferring with legal counsel.” Board of Education President Brad Young said the board is working on a response. “We are aware of the intent of the Plaintiff to file a motion to withdraw, and we will be consulting with our legal counsel regarding the appropriate response,” Young said.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

(13) comments

des21

Are we ever going to run out of "protected classes" of people who need governmental protection? I wonder who is going to be next. The mind boggles just thinking of the possibilities but when they do create their group or their need, as unusual and individualistic (and expensive for the rest of us to accommodate), it is comforting to know that the Democratic Party will reflexively jump up and champion them as a "persecuted minority." Strength through division. Its illusory but its become the rallying cry of the Democrats. SMH.

mrnatural1


I agree that some of the PC stuff gets ridiculous. I don't think anyone deserves 'special rights', just equal rights.

In this case, I'm not particularly concerned with the choices or mindset of the people involved. I'm just focused on the policy, without reading anything into it

We are frequently balancing the rights of one group against those of another. In this case, there is little if any harm done to those involved -- the students.

It seems the "adults" are using this as a proxy for the ongoing culture wars. It's one thing to have, say, a religious objection to homosexual behavior or gay marriage. There's nothing wrong with that. We do not live in a theocracy though. Those who want to force their beliefs on others are going to be very frustrated.

There's a lot to be said for having a live and let live attitude. It should be possible to vehemently disagree with a particular action or lifestyle while understanding that in a free democracy people are free to do as they please as long as they do not infringe on anyone else's rights.

mrnatural1

Many good points made by all -- Dick, LJF, and JS.

Organized religion is neither 100% good nor 100% evil. I happen to agree with most of LJF posted, and as an agnostic I find it incredibly pious and insulting when I am told that only deeply religious people can have strong morals (not that anyone here said that directly). There are moral and amoral people of all faiths and no faith whatsoever.

I will say though that religious beliefs have gotten many people through difficult times. Whether or not their beliefs are pure fantasy is beside the point. In addition, for centuries organized religion has kept many people more or less in line.

That said, I think the opponents of this policy need to take a deep breath or two.

As LJF said, we're talking about *bathrooms*. There is really no need to have a deep discussion about morals, religion, the Founding Fathers intentions, etc.

I don't want to re-post everything I wrote in my comments on the other FNP article about this (actually, I wish they would combine the comments), but essentially I said that bathrooms, with locking stalls, are a far cry from open locker rooms and showers. It's just not a big deal. As a heterosexual male, I don't care who I'm sharing a bathroom with -- straight or gay, male or female, it just doesn't matter. Most people have been to concerts where the women use the men's room because the line is shorter. The sky doesn't fall. People use the bathroom and leave without incident.

I'm honestly confused by all of the concern over this. I'm trying to understand what the opponents are thinking. Is this policy seen as a "foot in the door" -- that next thing you know there will be orgies in the gym on Fridays? In all seriousness, while I do think many good points have been made both here and in comments on the other article, it appears like a lot of hand-wringing over nothing.

I gather from what LJF posted that locker rooms and showers are different now from the 1960s and '70s. My comments about them are based on my experience as a boy, where everything was open. Apparently there is more privacy now, but I cannot imagine anyone proposing a similar policy for locker rooms.

We are just talking about bathrooms.


DickD

If you are a male, that considers themself a female, you are really not either. Not either because your anatomy identifies you as a male, it is your mind that says you are female. The same for females, they too are neither. So, the best thing is to just use the bathrooms that have no gender or else keep your personal ideas of what sex you would like to be, those not shown by your anatomy, to yourself.

jsklinelga

Mr. Lewis summed it up best when he said this was a cultural war. That is exactly right. Neither of the first two comments showed any empathy for the young girl who was placed under extreme pressure by the actions of the FCTA Union. This lawsuit may have been dismissed but most assuredly others will follow. Visiting the FCTA website you can see a request for PAC donations. The FCTA has become an extremely powerful, well funded political body, most certainly, with many members forced to acquiesce to it's political leanings, for fear of reprisal (very similar to the young girl,) Multiple issues continue to arise with the evolving structure and mission of this "tax payer" funded Union. "Mandatory dues" were required by law expressly for collective bargaining. The Union's mission now extends far past collective bargaining.

As far as a cultural war; that is correct. The virtual underpinning of our country's morality is being challenged. Quite often we hear of the separation between Church and State. One has to wonder at the lack of historical perspective produced by our current educational system. The "wall of separation" was to prevent government forced sponsorship of one particular institution's control, thus restricting a freedom of religion. Ironically this is what the Teacher's Union has become. In no way did the forefather's advocate a freedom from religion. There are countless, countless passages by our forefathers stressing the importance of a religious based morality underpinning our government. It was the almost unanimous conclusion that a free society could not exist without this moral structure. Yes you are right Mr. Lewis; It is a cultural war.

LJF0929

Please don't suggest that a society is not/cannot be great without organized religion. It is those institutions specifically that have caused wars for thousands of years and allow people to cast others aside because they don't share views. And please, let's not forget, all religious books are simply fiction publications. Shall we accept that "morality" is impossible without fictitious guidance? How about humankind should be good to each other - for the sake of being good to each other. Not because a fictional piece of work leads us down that path. Not for fear of the afterlife. For the sake of being good. That's all a moral compass requires. Don't begin to meddle in the Church and State unless you have proof from the church that's it's a proven way to make people have good morals. I can certainly point to many in the church that do not. And I can certainly point to many good people that have strong morals for the sake of being good people.

jsklinelga

LJF0929
You have exposed the divide beautifully. "All religious books are fictional publications" I truly believe you believe that to be true. At one point in my life I considered the same view. You must think the world is filled with foolish, gullible people. But I must say i believe you have a very naive view of mankind. All we need is to be good? Yes that is probably true. As a matter of fact that is deeply grounded in our religious consciousness.(the Golden Rule) but good luck with that. Selfishness, greed, lusts, etc have always prevented that. And as far as all wars being caused by religion, that is way off base. What about WW!, WW2, Vietnam, Korea, etc., etc.

LJF0929

Kids aren't running around naked in bathrooms and locker rooms. No longer are the days when middle schoolers are forced to undress in front of the gym teacher and walk through the showers. We've come a ways since then (30 years ago). There are stalls and curtains if kids are going to have to expose any private parts. I don't know any girls using a restroom with the door wide open so her privates are showing. Girls in locker rooms use stalls with curtains to change. Do we really think a transitioning or gender confused person would stand in the middle of a locker room and stare at others? Please. I'm pretty certain they are, themselves, hiding during private times. I'm a woman and have never worried about who is in the stall next to me. There are doors that lock and I have my privacy. I change at the gym behind a curtain. If a man walked through, he would never see me. If he opened the curtain, then he's a predator and that is a whole different issue. I'm not sure the situation this girl was afraid she'd be in - but maybe that's the realization they came to!

mrnatural1

Well said LJF.

gabrielshorn2013

Not sure what school you are talking about, but I just asked my high school sophomore, and he said the shower room is a tile room with shower heads sticking out of the walls. No stalls, no curtains., no privacy.

des21

And no one showering- since about 1977. Just saying.............. no body showers after "gym." I'm not even sure kids on sports teams shower together after games. I kind of doubt it. I'll ask some coaches.

lewisantq

This looks like a case of a parent using her child as a weapon in her own culture war. The result was predictable. Bob Lewis

des21

Welcome back Bob, haven't heard from you in a while. I don't always agree with what you write but it is always well-reasoned and reflective.

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