BG Transgender Rally - AE (copy)

James Van Kuilenburg, leader of the Support FCPS Transgender Students group, speaks at a rally outside the Frederick County Public Schools hearing room in June.

A transgender student and the American Civil Liberties Union have asked to join a lawsuit and defend the Frederick County Board of Education’s transgender policy against the civil action.

The board in June adopted a policy allowing transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity and participate in sports and other activities consistent with that identity.

A parent and 15-year-old student, identified under the pseudonym Mary Smith, sued the board in August, arguing that allowing transgender students to use the bathroom in which they are more comfortable violates her fundamental right to bodily privacy. The mother, who uses the name Jane Doe in the suit, says the policy violates her right to “care, custody, control, upbringing,” and information regarding her child.

James Van Kuilenburg, a transgender student at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, and the ACLU filed a request Friday to join the lawsuit on the side of the school board, asserting that Van Kuilenburg had a personal interest in the policy and, therefore, the outcome of the case.

Being able to behave and participate at school in a manner consistent with his identity gave Van Kuilenburg “the ability to finally be myself and access all parts of my education,” he said in a statement.

The ACLU stated the motion was to “defend the school board’s policy and stop members of the community from attempting to disrupt his and other trans students’ education by taking away their right to be treated with dignity as the gender they are.”

The 15-year-old girl in the lawsuit said that the schools failed to adequately monitor bathrooms and that another female student filmed and distributed photos of her. It was not clear if that allegation involved a transgender student or whether it was before or after the policy was approved in mid-June.

The ACLU said the idea that barring transgender students from their preferred bathroom would remedy that kind of invasion of privacy is a “tenuous theory.”

The girl contends that she and girls like her avoid school bathrooms because of privacy and safety concerns.

Her suit, filed in U.S. District Court of Maryland, asks the court to throw out the board policy and demands the school district communicate with parents regarding all issues pertaining to a student’s sexuality or gender identity.

A judge will decide to accept or deny the ACLU and Van Kuilenburg’s request at a later time.

The Board of Education and other defendants also filed a motion Friday to dismiss the case, saying the case has no merit because the girl does not have a legal right to share a bathroom only with non-transgender students.

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiLoos.

(33) comments


The bottom line is that "transgenders" are not afforded any specific -- or special --
protections under the Constitution or "civil rights act" (as someone else posted). Human beings are either male or female, and all are afforded the same protections, regardless of race, sex, religion, etc.

"Gender dysphoria" ... that definition seems accurate enough. No matter how much someone wants to be the opposite gender, they will never be. It's simple science and nature. No physical surgery can change physiology, genetics or mental illness.

And this is exactly what the issue is all about: mental illness. People (and politicians) are trying to create a false sense of reality, defeat insecurities and force sane people to comply with the demands of the mentally ill and those that support them in such an unnatural ideology.

By TRYING to enact such Unconstitutional, lawless and harmful policies and practices, they are creating more harm than doing good. They are placing the mentally ill AND the innocent citizens in a position of distrust and hate. These "transgender" folks need intense psychiatric care. What they -- and those that support them -- don't need is a false sense of freedom to violate the actual rights of American citizens.


This policy is about so much more than bathrooms. The obsession that a previous commenter has with how other people use restrooms is really more of a reflection on him than on this policy.

These children worked with the School Board to enact a policy vetted by the community with fair and open hearings. I know. I attended a few of them. I think these student-activists have bright futures.

As a parent of cis-gender FCPS students, I fully support the policy that provides transgender and non-binary youth in our community with protections and I applaud these young people for following through with their activism. I don't buy into the fear-mongering that is being seeded by small-minded people.

Protecting the rights of minority groups is a cornerstone of our democracy.


Without question this is a sensitive subject. For a percentage of our population gender dysphoria exists. It is by it's nomenclature, a psychiatric condition that should be handled with absolute, genuine concern. It is a medical condition that should be studied intensely.. But gender dysphoria has been caught up in a rapidly evolving social dynamic. Quick assessments and socially driven policies may have potential risks. "Fear small minded people" is somewhat of a small minded statement in itself.


Hysteria and homosexuality were once listed in the DSM. When we knew better, we did better. Your point really has no bearing on whether these youth in our community deserve equal protection in our schools.

As for the fear-mongering by small minded people. I stand by that. I see it in this lawsuit and in places in this thread and I saw it at the school board hearings on this subject.


Have we lost all prudence? Gender dysphoria (Dysphoria - a state of unease or dissatisfaction with life) is a relatively new area of intensified study. Sex reassignment surgeries have been performed for over a half of century but the whole area of research centered around a very small percentage of the population. Without question, pro or con, almost all studies have shown a significantly above average percentage of early deaths and various psychiatric disorders for persons affected by this medical condition. Gender reassignment surgery and pharmaceutical aids have not proven to lower the potential outcomes. In the armed forces the suicide rate has remained almost constant for persons with this disorder whether they have undergone sex change treatments or not.

The .03 to .05 percent of the people who genuinely suffer this disorder, clinically verified, actually do not want attention drawn to them The odd thing about this new policy is that persons who actually suffer this condition may be reluctant to use the specially designated bathrooms.

A comment below said this new policy was overwhelmingly supported. I do not believe that is true. Typically another comment suggested anyone opposed was aligned with hate groups.That is way off base. What doors does this open up? At what age do adolescents determine their sexual proclivity? If it is the new cool and some teenager undergoes extensive drug treatments what are the possible ramifications? An American Psychiatric Journal summed it up best, inadvertently, when they said many colleges now offer medical insurance to cover gender reassignment which would have been unheard of several years ago. Yes it would have been. Considering the proven high risk not to mention the unproven long term side effects of drug induced sex change I believe the new FCPS is simply not prudent and needs to be challenged..


jsk... Call it what it is, Gender Identity Disorder.


The assertions and claims you make are not supported by anything or anyone that comes close to being a reputable medical association, current expert position, scientific study, by transgender people themselves, or even a preponderance of available data.

Gender Confirmation Surgeries are not relatively new. The presence of trans people and rudimentary medical interventions are evident all the way back to the start of human civilization in Mesopotamia. It is believed that the Eunuchs of Ancient Rome were transgender folks and many cultures have made space for or even revered transgender people. Anyway, modern GCS techniques were pioneered by Magnus Hirschfield in 1930, with Lilli Elbe, aka the Danish Girl. That’s 87 years ago and the rise of Hitler’s 3rd Reich was responsible for destroying nearly all of Hirschfeld’s work. The parallels between the 1930’s populist movement in Germany and what we see today in our own country is unsettling.

Transgender persons do not have high suicide rates due to being transgender or from having gender dysphoria. Study after study have shown that the suicide rate of transgender people are no different from the cisgender population when they are supported socially and can avail themselves of gender affirming care. Additionally, the military has zero data on the trans service member suicide rate. They don’t even have a solid grasp on how many trans people are currently serving. But they do have data that indicates that the rate of occurrence of trans identities in the military is likely twice that which occurs in society at large and those that are serving have served and continue to serve with distinction. To assert there is a high trans suicide rate in the military without citing an authoritative source is truly irresponsible.

The occurrence of trans people in the US isn’t accurately quantified. The current administration has removed questions from the 2020 census that would help accurately quantify the percentage of trans people in the US. Then again, if you’re trans, would you really want to be counted by the current Administration? Anyway, all of the estimates that have any semblance of credibility and are rooted in valid analysis are several orders of magnitude higher than the rate you provide and typically range from 0.7 % to nearly 3%, or about 2.5 M to 10.5 M people in the US.

I could go on debunking your statements and poorly informed concerns, but I don’t think I’ll change your mind. My only goal in replying is to spark a reasonable doubt in those people who read your assertions, and are open to scientific evidence and critical thinking, and who may be inclined to fact check their beliefs. It seems like your desire to challenge the policy is based on a closely held belief system that is being disrupted by the most current evidence and available data.

What doors will this policy open you ask? It will open the door of opportunity for trans kids to their constitutionally guaranteed rights. That they are created equal to cisgender folks and that they have the same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It will end needless suffering and pain of feeling forced to fit in to an arbitrary gender binary. It will save lives and allow for a richer and more inclusive climate in society. It will do absolutely nothing to negatively impact bathroom safety, nor will it erode anyone else’s rights. But what it WILL do is require people to think and challenge deeply held beliefs about a gender binary that is only a social construct and not supported by science or recorded human history.

Then again, science, data, and facts don’t seem to matter anymore.


Suing a school district over a policy to make schools comply with legal opinions concerning discrimination prohibited by the civil rights act has as much to do with maintaining privacy and safety in bathrooms as a haircut has to do with an ice cream sandwich. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Of course, the oxymoron organization known as the Alliance Defending Freedom (and the Family Research Council (the people who hired the sister-diddling Duggar kid), and Liberty Counsel) are hell bent to try and erase transgender people from American society. So, if this poor 15 year old victim’s allegation had merit, why is there nothing in the article about an ongoing criminal investigation? Oh, and to further expound on the ridiculousness of the lawsuit, a person is INFINITELY more likely to be at risk of assault in a bathroom by a cisgender male coach, member of Congress, priest, neighbor, or someone else who has trust and access to “your women and children” than a transgender person. The ADF and their Y’all Queda Christian Jihadists have been trying to legalize discrimination against trans people around the country. Given the opportunity, these are the types of people who would join ISIS in throwing gay men off of buildings. They typically lose (because of legal precedents), but if one thing is certain, the Constitutionally enshrined rights of trans people (and anyone who isn’t white, cis, straight, and “Christian”) are under attack by the current clowns in charge.

Frederick mom

So very proud of this young man for being brave enough to stand up for his rights, and others. I completely support this policy and I support Frederick County Trans students.


Is it a young "man?"


Did "Mary Smith actually say this or were these words put in her mouth?


I’m sure they were put in her mouth by the Americans Defending Freedom, an identified hate group who are pushing the lawsuit and have filed similar ones in districts all across the country. And the lawyer is just someone looking to use this to help his run for office.


What part of the policy protecting trans students makes the law change regarding assault, rape or sexual harassment? We all want the same thing for all people - fair and equal rights, and safe spaces for our kids to learn. I'm not sure why every time we talk about a female identifying human using a "female" bathroom people immediately think they are there to cause harm. They just want to be safe - if you force a female identifying human to use the "men's" room they are at much greater risk to be harmed. Why is this still a debate? Please help me understand the logic.


"We all want the same thing for all people - fair and equal rights,..."

Assumes facts not in evidence.


Not sure, but here is a try. If you are dressed as a boy, in a boy's bathroom, just use the toilets with closed doors, no one needs to see you - avoid the urinals. If you are a boy, dressed as a girl, use the girls bathroom, where the toilets have closed doors and privacy.

If you are a girl, dressed as a boy, use the boys bathroom with closed doors; if you still dress as a girl, no problem, the toilets there have closed doors and privacy.


This policy brings protections to a group of students who have been previously marginalized and under-protected. These students deserve the same protections as every other child. This policy was first discussed because a group of students came to the school board asking for help. Research was done, stakeholders were contacted, public meetings were held, and our elected school board made the policy based on those factors. The support of our community was overwhelmingly in support of this policy, as it should be. The policy allows for any child, if they feel uncomfortable, to use a separate restroom. This woman’s child can access that part of the policy. The idea that she would like to take away the rights of other students and waste tremendous amounts of taxpayer money the school board could be using for educating our students is heinous! Kudos to Mr. VanKuilenburg for continuing to take a stand for himself and other students.


...and the beat goes on...figures the aclu would be involved, the most UNAmerican union in this country


Because civil liberties are un-American?


Nope, because the represents NAMBLA. ACLU can go to he!!.


Because the First Amendment doesn't apply to speech which you find disgusting?

Also, feel free to put the ells in hell.


I thought this country was founded on the idea that all people are created equal and should be afforded equal protection and access. That sounds super American to me!


Jersey, isn't that the truth? The ACLU was the group, for example, that first went after the Peace Cross situation (reference previous article) wanting it taken down. Prime example of the "war on Christianity" going on in this country. The ACLU is totally committed to be an instigator over making a mountain out of a molehill.


Hopefully the young lady who filed this suit will prevail, she certainly deserves to.


She is already protected under the policy. If the policy is removed, many students lose protections. Are you suggesting that some students are more valuable or worth more than others?


I would say that "normal" is more natural than "abnormal."


CD.. a simple DNA test could solve the issue. x, girls room, y, boys room. No ones "rights" are being impeded upon. We are either x or y, man or woman (regardless of what "you feel", "you identify with", or what pronoun you want used.


At the risk of being called a homophobe, a racist, a Nazi or whatever else the libs like to call people who disagree with them, I have a simple, legitimate question: when a girl who thinks she's a boy uses the boys room, does she stand at a urinal or sit on a toilet?


Can I ask why you are so interested in how children use the bathroom? That seems a little weird and creepy to me. What’s important is just that people flush and wash their hands.


As I said, it's just a simple question, I'm not familiar with this twisted lifestyle. Can't someone ask a simple question without being called "weird and creepy?" Or did, when I mentioned, "homophobe, racist, and Nazi" beat you to the punch? And my wife just said to tell you that she wouldn't want her daughter or grand daughter in the same bathroom with someone with a penis. Now, is she "weird and creepy" too?


Spot on, CD. Nothing wrong with your question. And, I agree with your wife's thinking.


I'm not sure how that is relevant to the conversation. Was it meant to be productive?


Read my post again, it was a simple question.


Your question was does a make identifying individual use the urinal or the stall - my question was how does it pertain to this conversation? Both seem pretty straight forward - a make identifying individual would use the bathroom however they saw fit to relieve their bowels and bladder - now can you answer my question on how this relates to this conversation?

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