by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
George Leef shares with Forbes readers his reaction to the government’s latest effort to regulate access to the girls’ locker room.
Those of us who oppose the expansion of governmental controls often get the retort, “You’re just using a slippery slope argument; the bad consequences you foresee are extremely unlikely to happen.”
Ah, but predicted bad consequences often do happen. As evidence, I offer the following instance.
In 2013, a student in Palatine Township High School (Illinois) complained about sexual discrimination to the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The allegedly illegal “discrimination” suffered was because the school refused to allow the student, a male who “identifies” as a female, to use the girls’ locker room.
The applicable 1972 statute forbids sexual discrimination by any school or college that accepts any federal funds–but surely that couldn’t mean that a male student who “identifies” as female can’t be kept from changing and showering with the girls.
Oh yes it does.
Instead of dismissing the complaint, OCR took it very seriously. Under pressure from Washington, officials in the Palatine School District offered this accommodation: The student could use the girls’ locker room, but had to change and shower behind privacy curtains.
Not good enough! The requirement of using the privacy area was discriminatory; it singled the student out; it made him/her feel “ostracized.” The ACLU attorney representing “Student A” declared, “It’s one thing to say to all the girls, ‘You can choose if you want some extra privacy, but it’s another thing to say, ‘You, and you alone must use them.’ That sends a pretty strong signal to her that she’s not accepted and the district does not see her as a girl.”
Despite the many accommodations the school had made, including allowing Student A to play on girls sports teams, Student A still wasn’t satisfied. When you have the power of the federal government behind you, why not go for everything?