Single-Sex Schools In Legal Limbo Amid Transgender Push

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Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Single-sex high schools are already finding themselves in legal and ethical limbo as LGBT activists promote transgenderism as normal and healthy.

Colleges and universities like women’s schools Barnard, Smith, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, Scripps and Mount Holyoke revised their admissions polices in the last two years to accept students who identify as females. However, the situation is still fluid among private all-girls’ schools at the high school level.

In January 2013, the National Coalition of Girls Schools formed a Transgender Study Task Force to research the issue and later released a position paper outlining where the coalition stood on all-girls secondary school education, and the admission of transgender students as well as current students who are looking to transition.

Ultimately, the NCGS simply recommended that schools work with students and families on a “case by case basis.” The Daily Caller learned through one education source that all-girl secondary schools have been preparing for this time for several years.

“There’s the physiological boy who identifies as a girl that wants to come to an all girls school. There’s a physiological girl who identifies as a boy that wants to come to an all girls school. And then there is someone that enrolls in an all-girls school that wants to transition once they are here,” the source said.

Phillips Exeter Academy, a co-ed boarding school in New Hampshire, already graduated a student in the mid-1990s who entered as a female and left identifying as a male.

“I think [girls’ schools] have always been dealing with [the issue]. And it’s always been in a legal realm. I think now it’s moving into the health and welfare [area] for girls’ schools and boys’ schools. It’s less boys’ schools, mostly because I think girls schools are safe spaces,” the source added, noting that the biggest difference between the circumstances with the women’s colleges and secondary schools is that the latter’s students are minors.

Bruce Jenner’s much publicized transition to Caitlyn Jenner triggered limited reaction from Capitol Hill, and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee joked to attendees at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention back in February, “Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE,” Huckabee said.

“I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’ You’re laughing because it sounds so ridiculous doesn’t it?”

He went further, “And yet today, we’re the ones who are ridiculed and scorned, because we point out the obvious — that there’s something inherently wrong with forcing little children to be part of this social experiment.”

LGBT advocates shot back when his comments surfaced last week.

“A person’s gender identity does not change hour-to-hour nor day-to-day, and schools with inclusive policies work with families to arrange for students to begin identifying full-time with their authentic gender — consistent with the Department of Education’s recent guidance regarding the transgender protections inherent in Title IX. Some of California’s biggest school districts have had transgender protections for years and never had a single incident of bathroom misbehavior like Huckabee described. Not even protections have resulted in any such problems,” Zack Ford at ThinkProgress writes.

California trial attorney Kurt Schlicter responded to Ford.

“Well, as much as I respect the legal insights of someone who ‘co-hosts a popular LGBT-issues podcast called ‘Queer and Queerer with activist and performance artist Peterson Toscano,’ the purpose of these laws is expressly to remove the ability to challenge one’s characterization of his/her/other’s identity.”

Schlicter continues, “That someone who abuses this by pretending to have a different identity to obtain access to intimate settings would also be immune from challenge should be no surprise. If no one abuses this opportunity, it will be the first time in all of human history no one at all has exploited an opportunity for his own selfish ends.”

“Huckabee is a cheesy man, but he’s got a point. And Zack failed to point out any way to prevent the kind of abuses Huckabee was talking about — because he can’t. There is no way to challenge the sincerity of one’s gender identity claim because the entire purpose of these silly laws is to prevent challenges to the sincerity of one’s gender identity claims,” Schlicter told TheDC.

“As I understand the law,” Schlicter said, “the purpose of it is to prevent arbitrary designations and gender identity by people and institutions of authority.”

Schlicter asks that in light of the intent of the law, “How can you challenge anyone’s claim that they’re a certain gender? Would you have to have a gender trial? That would kind of defeat the whole purpose of the law which is to prevent others from telling you what your gender identity is.”

Similar to ThinkProgress’s stance on the issue, Gender Spectrum says that gender and sex are two distinctly different things, which prompts the question as to whether surgery is even required to claim one “transitioned.”

“For many people, the terms ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ are used interchangeably, and thus incorrectly. This idea has become so common, particularly in western societies, that it is rarely questioned. We are born, assigned a sex, and sent out into the world. For many people, this is cause for little, if any dissonance. Yet biological sex and gender are different; gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one’s physical anatomy.”

The Gender Spectrum site later adds the concept of “gender privilege” to the mix.

“When someone is ‘typically gendered,’ they benefit from gender privilege. For individuals whose biological sex, gender expression, and gender identity neatly align, often referred to as ‘cisgender,’ there is a level of congruence as they encounter the world around them.”

So does one need surgery at all or will the courts view male and female as a state of mind as opposed to something purely physical?

“I’m not sure if it would require surgery at all, because we’ve already established–or the bar already established as I understand it that gender is not based on any kind of physical condition,” Schlicter explained.

It’s based merely on how one identifies. Now if that’s true you don’t need surgery at all.

“I can say, ‘I’m now a woman. I was a male a couple of seconds ago, but I’m a woman now,'” Shlicter pointed out noting the goldmine waiting for trial lawyers who would file lawsuits against businesses like gyms, that will be caught in the middle of such cases.

It takes surgery out of the picture, and it’s probably meant to, because there are pre-op transsexuals who have not had surgery and want to be identified as a woman not only by themselves but by the world at large.”