Board of Education of the Highland Local School District v. United States Department of Education
Last Updated: 5/29/2020
What's at stake
Schools’ ability to protect the dignity, privacy, and safety interests of their students by providing separate locker rooms, shower facilities, and restrooms based on biological sex.
The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is attempting to force schools across the nation to allow students to access locker rooms, shower facilities, and restrooms designated for the opposite sex. OCR is threatening to revoke millions of dollars in federal funding—money often devoted to operating special-education programs and providing lunches to children from low-income families—to coerce schools to comply with its demands. One of the schools that has found itself targeted by the OCR is Highland Local School District in central Ohio. OCR has demanded that Highland change its policies regarding student access to sleeping facilities, locker rooms, shower facilities, and restrooms. OCR has indicated that it will not accept any settlement proposal from school board officials that does not include open access to such facilities for students who identify as someone of the opposite sex. OCR has taken this position based on new rules that the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have unlawfully created and are illegitimately attempting to enforce nationwide.
Alliance Defending Freedom represents the school board in its attempt to stop OCR from enforcing its new rules against the district. School policies must protect and consider the needs of all children, and the government should not be forcing girls to undress or shower in front of boys. This is common sense.
Our role in this case
Alliance Defending Freedom serves as counsel for the Board of Education of the Highland Local School District free of charge.
Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Illinois, disregarded student privacy and safety when it secretly opened its schools’ restrooms to the opposite sex and then opened the girls’ locker room to a boy