A high school student in Pennsylvania has filed a complaint against her school, claiming that her civil rights were violated, and that she was subjected to sexual harassment, when a transgender student used the same locker room as her.
An attorney working with the teen has already filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division, detailing the female student’s experience in a Honesdale High School locker room earlier this year. In a video accompanying the complaint, the unnamed 15-year-old student says she immediately became worried when she heard a “man’s voice” as she was getting dressed. The complaint states that the transgender student in question identifies as female.
“While I was putting on my pants, I heard a man’s voice. So I turned around and he’s standing there on the opposite aisle looking at me,” the female student said in the video. “I glanced down and I could tell that he was wearing women’s underwear and what was underneath it.”
According to the complaint, students weren’t made aware that the transgender student was given permission to use the women’s locker room. The complaining student’s attorney, Andrea Shaw, is now identifying the incident as a case of sexual harassment.
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“Opening up restrooms and locker room facilities to members of the opposite sex is sexual harassment,” Shaw stated. “Like most forms of sexual harassment, the girls in this school have little power over their situation.”
Shaw went on to say that the school’s offered solution was for her client to wait outside of the locker room until the transgender student — who Shaw refers to as “the individual of the opposite sex,” despite her identifying as female — was finished changing. The complaint further added that the school asked the transgender student if she would be comfortable changing behind a shower curtain, with which she complied.
Further, going forward for the spring 2019 semester, the schedule of the student who placed the complaint has been changed so that she’s no longer enrolled in gym class with the transgender student. The complaint alleges that this doesn’t lessen the 15-year-old’s “daily fear.”
“The privacy rights of these girls don’t change based on what a male believes about their gender,” Shaw said in the video.
Administrators from Wayne Highlands School District didn’t respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, the superintendent told WNEP that the district’s current policy aligns with a recent court decision to allow trans students to use the facilities of their choosing.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• Alyssa Milano slammed for calling herself ‘trans’ and ‘a person of color’ on Twitter
• Principal told 4th-grader her LGBTQ essay was ‘not acceptable,’ says lawsuit
• ACLU sues school that forced transgender teen to stop using boys’ locker room