By A.P. Dillon
- NC officials slap DOJ with multiple complaints
- Obama guidelines instruct schools to treat “gender identity” the same as “sex”
- Group in NC launches parent-student based suit against DOJ
- Officials in Texas, Missouri join North Carolina in fighting ‘King Obama’
In response to a series of letters threatening North Carolina’s Title IX funding, Governor McCrory, as well as Speaker of the NC House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) fired the first shot. Copies of the complaints against the DOJ are listed below:
The battle over North Carolina’s HB2 has now taken a new focus as the state and Department of Justice threw lawsuits at each other on May 9.
The suits center on the Obama administration attempting to enforce its interpretation of anti-discrimination laws. The DOJ complaint contends that HB2 violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).
In essence, the Obama administration is pressing the issue of admitting any child to any bathroom or locker room depending on if that child “identifies” as either male or female. Title IX funds are used to serve the most needy students in this country, making this administration’s attempt to withhold Title IX funding an amazingly bold threat.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s remarks drew swift criticism, as she compared the use of bathrooms by biological sex to “Jim Crow laws” and even slavery. That’s right, the attorney general of the United States compared the expectation of safety and privacy in school bathrooms to segregation and slavery.
What does this mean for North Carolina schools? As reported earlier, Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS) gave mixed messages when asked about transgender bathroom access.
The response from the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) didn’t provide much useful guidance. In fact, DPI’s response might have just made things worse. According to a recent article at McClatchyDC.com, NC Superintendent Atkinson indicated that NC’s schools were already following the federal guidelines:
“North Carolina education Superintendent June Atkinson told McClatchy the state’s public schools are already following the federal equality guidelines, which were handed down to districts across the country Friday.
Interviews with local school officials indicated that was true in at least some North Carolina districts. In Wake County schools, for example, transgender students are able to use the bathrooms that match their gender identities in most instances.”
Did Superintendent Atkinson just admit that North Carolina schools are operating in violation of HB2? Or was she referring to following aspects of Title IX? Her remarks are a bit vague, but if one considers what the Dear Colleague guidance letter says, then one has to conclude that, yes, North Carolina schools are violating HB2.
The Dear Colleague guidance letter is less about guidance and really more of an outline of demands based on interpreting “sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity.” As a term, “gender identity” remains undefined. What’s worse, the term is meant to be implemented without any clear connection to medical history, anatomy, or appearance.
DOJ accompanied the Dear Colleague letter with a document outlining “examples of policies” and “emerging practices” for dealing with transgender students. It’s another way of saying, “States should do it our way.”
The letter states that schools are required to treat students in a manner “consistent with their gender identity,” which includes altering anti-bullying policies and making sure that school staff are using the “proper pronouns” when dealing with student records. In other words, a biologically male student identifying as female will have records that say “she” or “her” in them.
How far does this application of gender identity pronouns go? As Chicago public school parents and students are finding out, schools can now discipline students for using the wrong pronouns.
For those believing that these issues are contained to bathroom or locker room access, here’s an eye opener: the Dear Colleague letter covers athletics, single-sex schools, single-sex classes, dormitories and even sororities and fraternities.
All of these areas, under the Dear Colleague letter, must operate on the basis that schools must treat a “student’s gender identity as the student’s sex.” Yes, this administration has just redefined sex despite no court ruling on the definition and despite the fact that Title IX includes 504 plansto allow for separate accommodations for unique student issues.
With regards to school operations, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest made sure to include a reminder in his strongly worded statement on the Obama DOJ’s lawsuit:
“North Carolina public schools in receipt of the President’s letter are reminded that there is a binding state law on the books governing bathroom policy and the President’s non-binding directive is merely his attempt to push his version of a social policy on our state with no Constitutional authority to do so. It should be rejected as a matter of principle and policy.”
The aforementioned McClatchy article goes on to mention Charlotte and Durham public schools.
It’s worth noting that Durham Public Schools recently updated their anti-bullying policy to include “gender identity,” thereby arguably opening the door for facilities access changes.
Parents, do you know what your district’s policies are? Are your children going to be forced to use specific pronouns? Is your school engaging in violation of HB 2?
Some parents aren’t waiting to find out the answer. North Carolinians for Privacy announced it has also launched a lawsuit against the DOJ. The suit was brought on behalf of parents and students.
As these cases play out in the courts, other states should be taking notes. This edict from the Obama administration is not just about North Carolina. It applies to all states. Lt. Governor Kinder of Missouri, who is running for governor, has woken up to this reality. So have officials in Alabama, Arkansas and Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took to Twitter to announce the state’s position:
It is time for parents to wake up. The Obama administration has just decreed that your child will be made to care.