In Virginia, a female high school student who chooses to identify as a male rejected the school’s offer to allow use of a single-person private restroom because that meant “you can’t use the restroom with the rest of the kids. I’m not unisex. The alternative facility was a unisex bathroom.“ Instead, the student sued the school district for the right to use any boys’ restroom, initially losing, but subsequently prevailing in the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Apparently the issue was not access to a restroom, since the school provided that prior to the lawsuit, but the demand that the student be treated the same as all other students in the chosen gender, in this case, boys. Since the student identifies as a boy, the school must adjust such that the school experience of this one student is indistinguishable from that of any boy in the same class. The restroom is not the biggest issue, since this student probably uses a toilet in a stall anyway, but a bit of extrapolation quickly leads to ludicrous situations: participation in physical education classes, on sports teams, use of locker rooms and showers. If not this student, some other will try to push the boundaries in those areas.

The White House directive on the topic, issued May 13, states, “As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”

But there is a reasonable precedent, made obsolete by this directive, which now should be altered. Presumably, consistent with the refusal of the special restroom accommodation, and the president’s refusal to allow singling out of a particular class of students, the Virginia student will be willing to learn American Sign Language and attend classes conducted in ASL. After all, the U.S. incidence of deaf people communicating with ASL is about one per thousand, similar to the apparent incidence of transgender people. The deaf student is clearly singled out and disadvantaged in the current system, whereby schools provide interpreters, preferential seating and access to electronic assist devices. It is entirely consistent with the president’s directive and the Fourth Circuit ruling for a deaf student to demand that all students learn ASL, and that teachers teach in ASL.

Or, if all reason has not vanished from our society, perhaps the transgender student should be treated as the deaf student is now, recognizing the difference and providing accommodations such that the student is able to succeed in school, but not forcing 999 to change for the one who is different.

I write as a hearing man married to a deaf woman, with six hearing and two deaf children, who have attended a wide variety of schools.

Glen Dunham

Monrovia

(21) comments

mouse042

I am FEMALE, I identify as a WOMAN. Sometimes I use the MEN's restroom. I have even waited in line to use the men's room. All in the name of convenience!!! The only resistance I have ever encountered was when I was in line for the men's room, and then other woman joined in the line. There were a couple disgruntled men, that kept more than a few ladies from joining. None of us were kicked out of line either.

I always use a stall, except...Shhh... sometimes I use the uranal in the port-a-pot. It is an easier squat, and less mess.

No one cares that I'm using the men's room, because I'm going in to USE THE TOILET! I'm not going in there to look at anyone's business, to be weird or creepy. I dont have any other intentions besides relieving myself of bodily waste, in the form of urine or feces. It is a restroom, not a hotel room.

threecents

Mouse, I am a man, and your post bothered me. Pretty much everything about it.

mouse042

And, I don't care how feel.

mouse042

Of course, I mean that in the nicest way possible. What could you possibly be bothered by?

BlueDawn666

LOL...you go girl....also threecents I would also love to know what bothered you so much about her post?

threecents

I have no problem with trangendered males in the mens room, but, sorry to break it to you, many of us are not evolved enough to be comfortable with the possiblity of an overt female walking by while we stand at the urinal. If there are two choices - Mens room and Womens room - then you only get to pick one. Otherwise, there is anarchy. Did you not learn this in kindergarten?

ma23464

The simple soulution to all of this is sex should just become a non issue. One bathroom one locker room one shower. No more sexually divided sports teams. Think of the money we could save. Which is a big issue no one is addressing. The money we are spending to make these very few transgendered weirdos happy.

b1sellers

What a nasty comment.

Dwasserba

To correct my comment, I meant "deaf" people - haven't yet found a really good way to communicate with the dead, but I don't rule it out.

Dwasserba

I learned basic ASL and fingerspelling and dead people have suffered through my attempt to meet them halfway. I drove a deaf lady to church for awhile. She would hit my arm while I was driving to get my attention off the road, which was disconcerting. I think an average person is capable of aspiring to being adequate at ASL.

DickD

We do need to get back to a level understanding of what is or is not allowed. And what is left out of this LTE is even if the female using the male bathroom uses a stall, others that are male are not using a stall, most of the time.

tonyc51

Dick does it really matter whether they use a stall or not. I doubt that anyone who is truly transgender is going in to expose themselves. Now if we discuss people who cross-dress for the purpose of confusing others now that is possible, but we are not discussing that here.

threecents

I was discussing it here.

threecents

To me not an appropriate analogy. Deafness is a handicap and transgender is not. The questions are, is it likely that someone would fake being transgender as an excuse to get into the girls' locker room, and what would the penalty be if the perpetrator was "exposed"? If the NC law had not passed, then we probably wouldn't have to worry about these issues in the first place.

tonyc51

This transgender debate is the proverbial "tempest in a teapot". Neither side is 100% correct, nor do I believe that either side would be harmed regardless of whether the person uses the bathroom of their choice or the bathroom based on the gender on their birth certificate. There are so many much more important matters that should be being discussed, but this is another means for both sides to avoid those subjects.

BlueDawn666

The deaf student is clearly singled out and disadvantaged in the current system,...in a hearing school that is correct, but not singled out in a deaf school, not singled out in a school such as Maryland School for the Deaf. It is your choice to send your deaf child to a hearing school.

But there are not schools specifically set-up for trans students, guess there could be if you didn't mind your tax dollars funding them, but I have a feeling that you would.

whereby schools provide interpreters, preferential seating and access to electronic assist devices. It is entirely consistent with the president’s directive and the Fourth Circuit ruling for a deaf student to demand that all students learn ASL, and that teachers teach in ASL....no not really because a deaf student is only singled out if they attend a hearing school, they would not be singled out in a deaf school such as MSD, where as far as I know the teachers are not allowed to use their voices they must communicate and educate in sign and everyone hired at the school must know sign..so at a deaf school there would be no singling out.

Also sounds like hearing schools are bending over backwards to accommodate the deaf student, schools are not doing that with trans students.

Also last time I checked there hasn't been one state that has enacted laws banning deaf kids from using the bathroom. Not sure this is a comparable argument?

“As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”...but it sounds like the deaf students are being accommodated in the hearing schools..cause you said this: schools provide interpreters, preferential seating and access to electronic assist devices. ...so it sounds like to me that schools do need to do more to accommodate trans students...

DeDeuceCoupe32

MSD is a perfect example that deaf students aren't being singled out. If my birth certificate says i am 30 years but i feel and act like I'm 13, i should be allowed to enroll as a seventh grader. LOL

DickD

There was no problem, until N. Carolina passed their law. Just get rid of an unneeded law.

Dwasserba

It was actually in reaction to progressive Charlotte attempting to ensure equal access for trans in Charlotte.

jgrose79

So in your opinion we should segregate transgendered students into trans only schools so they can get the much needed attention they deserve? Segregate the deaf, but not the transgendered, Hmmmm. Nice!

BlueDawn666

FACE PALM..no that is his argument whether he realizes it or not..deaf people are not segregated, they do have schools just for the deaf that hearing students can attend if they so choose just as deaf kids can go to hearing schools, ain't no one is segregated..do you even know what segregated means?

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