Students, parents ask court to stop Pa. school district from violating bodily privacy
WHO: Attorneys with Independence Law Center and Alliance Defending Freedom
WHAT: Available to media following hearing in Doe v. Boyertown Area School District
WHEN: Friday, Aug. 11, immediately following hearing, which begins at 2 p.m. EDT
WHERE: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Holmes Building, 101 Larry Holmes Dr., 4th Floor, Easton
EASTON, Pa. – Attorneys with the Independence Law Center and Alliance Defending Freedom who represent students and parents in a bodily privacy lawsuit against the Boyertown Area School District will be available for media interviews following a federal court hearing Friday.
During the 2016-17 school year—without informing parents or students—the school district secretly opened its high school locker rooms and restrooms to students of the opposite sex. As a result, many students’ bodily privacy rights were violated. One student involuntarily encountered an undressed female student while changing in the boys’ locker room. Three other students later joined the suit.
“Schools have a duty to protect the personal, bodily privacy of each student,” said ILC Senior Counsel Jeremy Samek, who will argue before the court Friday. “The privacy rights of students are well established. School officials can’t toss those rights aside by telling a student that he should simply make the presence of a girl in a boys’ locker room as ‘natural’ as possible, which is what happened in this case. That’s why we are asking the court to protect the privacy of all students while our lawsuit proceeds.”
“Our laws and customs have long recognized that we shouldn’t have to undress in front of persons of the opposite sex or be exposed to those who are doing so,” added ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb, who will also be present at the hearing. “But now some schools are forcing children to surrender their privacy rights even though Pennsylvania law specifically requires schools to have separate facilities for male and female students.”
The lawsuit, Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, claims violation of the fundamental right to bodily privacy under the U.S. Constitution; sexual harassment under Title IX, a federal law; and violation of a state privacy law.
Independence Law Center is a Pennsylvania-based pro-bono legal organization dedicated to advancing civil rights.
- Pronunciation guide: Samek (SAM’-eck)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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