Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today announced that they have joined nine other states in a federal lawsuit to challenge President Obama’s mandate requiring all public K-12 schools to open up boys’ and girls’ locker rooms and restrooms to students of the opposite sex, based on student perceptions of their “gender identity.”
Since the president has threatened to deny federal funding to all schools that object to this outrageous decree, Arizona has joined Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin in a lawsuit filed in the United States Court for the Northern District of Texas. The lawsuit is focused on who should set these sensitive policies – the federal government via executive order or states and local school districts. The challenge seeks declaratory relief against a number of federal agencies in order to block the implementation of the administration’s unconstitutional interpretation of the law. The Heber-Overgaard Unified School District has also joined the state’s lawsuit as a plaintiff.
“President Obama has no business setting locker room and restroom policies for our schools,” said Attorney General Brnovich. “Deciding how to protect our children and preserve their privacy, while balancing these complicated issues, is best done locally and not by some knee-jerk decree from Washington.”
“When Arizona students attend school, they deserve a safe environment that is free from bullying and discrimination, regardless of their gender identity,” said Superintendent Douglas. “I know that our districts and schools have policies in place to ensure that is the case. The fact that the federal government has yet again decided that it knows what is best for every one of our local communities is insulting and, quite frankly, intolerable.”
On May 13th, the president issued so-called “significant guidance” to K-12 schools nationwide detailing how transgender students should be granted access to Title IX facilities including restrooms, locker rooms, and showers. The guidance came with the threat of withholding federal funding if schools are found by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice to be out of compliance.