Right Wingers file lawsuit against Fairfax County School Board over “Gender Identity”
December 29, 2015
The latest in the ongoing saga of the contentious new transgender student policy at the Virginia district. This is actually pretty funny. Apparently the district never defined the newly protected category of “Gender Identity” but they did warn students in the Student Handbook that they will be suspended if they discriminate against it. The suit, filed December 21 by district resident Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition hinges on that fact, and also that the state has a legal principal, “Dillion’s Rule” that prohibits municipalities from creating their own protected classes.
The LOLsuit’s plaintiffs are Lafferty, Fairfax County high school student Jack Doe, his parents John and jane Doe, and his friends, also John and Jane Doe. [PDF]
From the complaint:
“68. On May 7, 2015 “gender identity” and “gender expression” were added to the Booklet as grounds for student discipline, but Defendant did not define “gender identity” or “gender expression” anywhere in the Booklet. (Exhibit F).
- Neither “gender identity” nor “gender expression” are defined in the Virginia Constitution or Code of Virginia, including Section 22.1-279.3 which Defendant cites as the authority for drafting and revising the Booklet.
- Jack Doe is particularly distressed about the Board’s decision to add “gender identity” to the non-discrimination policy and to the student code of conduct because “gender identity” is not defined in either the policy or the code, so Jack Doe has no idea what words or conduct might be interpreted as discriminating on the basis of “gender identity,” and therefore does not know what speech or conduct might subject him to discipline, including suspension.
- Jack Doe is distressed about the Board’s decision to add “gender identity” to the non- discrimination policy and student code of conduct because he understands that the decision will mean that the restrooms, locker rooms and other intimate spaces set apart, respectively, for boys and girls, will now be open to students who might have the physical features of one sex but are permitted to use the bathroom of the opposite sex which the student “identifies” as, whatever that means.
- Because the new policy and code of conduct are not sufficiently defined, Jack Doe has no way of knowing whether he can, for example, question someone who appears to be a girl using the boys’ restroom or locker room, refer to someone by a certain pronoun or even compliment someone on his/her attire without being subject to discipline for “discrimination.”
- Jack Doe is nervous about having to think about every statement or action and its potential sexual connotations to third parties before interacting with students and teachers, and the prospect of having to interact in such an uncertain environment creates significant distress to the point that it adversely affects his ability to participate in and benefit from the educational program.
- Jack Doe is terrified of the thought of having to share intimate spaces with students who have the physical features of a girl, seeing such conduct as an invasion of his privacy, invasion of fellow students’ privacy and a violation of the though patterns and understanding about male and female relationships which are part of his cultural values.
- Because of Defendant’s actions, Jack Doe cannot regard school as a safe place where he can learn what he needs to be a productive and well-educated adult without fear of harassment, being charged with harassment, and having his speech and conduct chilled by the fear of reprisals or of discipline for unknowingly violating the ambiguous code of conduct.
- Jack Doe’s ability to fully and freely participate in and benefit from the school’s educational program has been significantly diminished by the Defendant’s actions in adding the undefined terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the non-discrimination policy and student code of conduct.”