A female student at Pennsylvania high school is fighting for her right to privacy after she reported that a biologically male student who identifies as female watched her get dressed in a school locker room.
She says the incident took place at a high school in rural Wayne County, just east of Scranton, according to ABC affiliate WNEP. She now has attorneys who are helping her file a complaint against the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division.
“While I was putting on my pants, I heard a man’s voice,” the student related in a video attached to the complaint. “So I turned around, and he is standing there on the opposite side of the aisle, looking at me.”
“I glanced down and I could tell he was wearing women’s underwear and what was underneath it,” she continued. “When I knew that a man was looking at me, I felt very violated and very scared, especially looking at me while I was getting dressed.”
The student says she was not informed that a male student would be using her locker room. Her parents were upset by the incident as well and said she definitely did not consent to her privacy being violated.
“The reason we have separate bathroom and locker room facilities is to provide an area for individuals to dress and undress outside of the presence of somebody of the opposite sex,” attorney Andrew Shaw explained.
"Opening up restrooms and locker rooms to members of the opposite sex is sexual harassment. Like most forms, the girls have little power over their situation," she pointed out.
Shaw added: “The school’s only solution for my client was for her to wait outside the locker room until the individual of the opposite sex was finished changing, and then she went in and was late for gym class and also late for her second period class.”
“The school’s offered solution made it clear that they believed that my client was the problem.”
Shaw also noted that “Women have fought long and hard for privacy rights under Title IX for equality, for equal access in education, and now we are telling these girls that they no longer have a voice.”
“The privacy rights of these girls don’t change based on what a male believes about their gender.”
While many people replying to the law office’s Facebook post about the incident supported the girl and her fight, others were downright ugly and claimed that she was in the wrong for her reaction.
Sounds like your client is the one who is guilty of voyeurism. [Expletive] is she doing checking out other people's [body parts]? Shameful ambulance chasers," one person said, according to The Blaze.
"The student called the trans student a 'man.' I think we all know where this hate is coming from,” said another. “From her parents. Using 'man' is scary! Transphobia is bigotry."
"Maybe the girl should take a course in how to be tolerant of others who are different,” yet another commenter remarked. “Now that would be the Christian way."