Recent news stories have reported that a Coon Rapids High School girl, a member of the boys’ swim team and who also self identifies as a boy, is asking the Anoka-Hennepin School Board for the right to shower and change with the boys and use their bathrooms. This situation has brought back into the forefront confusion about changes the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) made in its controversial 2014 trangender policy. The MSHSL policy left the decision on these matters up to the schools but implemented an appeals process for student/school disputes over the matter. It is important to understand the MSHSL policy, your rights as parents, and the law.
The Child Protection League was effective in raising awareness of the issue with the MSHSL policy, and all that you need to know you can find at our website. Four questions frequently arise:
1. Didn’t the MSHSL policy settle the issue of boys using girls’ bath/locker rooms?
No. The policy is an appeals process for boys only by which a male student, if he 1) self-identifies as a female, 2) wants to use the girls’ bath/locker room, and 3) wants to compete on the girls’ team, may dispute the decision made by his school if it rules against him. The MSHSL established the guidelines by which they will evaluate that dispute.
2. Does the MSHSL policy allow girls to use the boys’ bath/locker rooms and compete on boys teams?
No. Current law already allows girls to try out for boys’ sports teams and compete if they qualify. This policy does not address girls who self-identify as boys and who want to use the boys’ bath/locker rooms.
3. Isn’t it discrimination, under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, to prohibit boys from using the girls’ facilities and play on the girls’ teams?
No. The Minnesota Human Rights Act (M.S. 363) prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services and education on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, public assistance and familial status. However, discrimination has never been defined as having separate private facilities for the biological sexes.
4. If a school decides to allow boys into the girls’ bathroom or vice versa is there anything parents can do?
Yes, there certainly is something parents can do. The Child Protection League is prepared to provide help to parents whose rights are being violated or whose children are being put at risk for potential mental/emotional harm from transgender inclusive bathroom policies. Contact Child Protection League if you are concerned about any issues or policies in your child’s school (firstname.lastname@example.org). We provide information, litigation support, grass roots awareness and action to help parents protect their children.