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Boyertown School Board Rejects Demand Letter from Student Suing District
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2017-03-29

          The Boyertown Area School District Board of Districts voted 6-3 Tuesday night to reject a demand letter from the lawyer of the student suing the district.

          Only Clay D. Breece, Robert J. Caso and Christine M. Neiman voted for the measure, which would have required the district to change its policy related to transgender students.

          Board members made the decision after hearing from numerous speakers and meeting in executive session, according to David Szablowski, the district's chief financial officer and board secretary.

          "We are grateful to those who attended (Tuesday) night's board meeting," he wrote in a March 29 email. "The audience deserves considerable credit for listening intently and respectfully, and the speakers for sharing their opinions with the board and the community.

          "Our community demonstrated that we can have disagreements – even sharp disagreements – over a highly controversial subject, but, hopefully, we can also agree that no single issue is so great that it will ever divide us, and distract us from our mission of providing the very best education to every one of our students."

          Earlier this month, an unnamed male student at Boyertown High School filed a civil lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Boyertown Area School District and three administrators for allegedly violating his right to bodily privacy.

          Gender identity issues appear to be at the center of this case. According to the suit, filed by two Christian-based organizations, the plaintiff was exposed involuntarily "to an undressed student of the opposite sex while changing in his school's locker room."

          The incident violated Joel Doe's rights as identified in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Title IX and Pennsylvania's Public School Code of 1949, according to the text of the 31-page complaint.

          The March 21 letter, from a Pittsburgh attorney, requests that the district issue a statement to students and parents that all bathrooms and changing areas at the school accessed by multiple students will be restricted based on their anatomy; issue a statement that any single-user facility can be accessed by students of either sex; issue a statement that the new policy protects students from being exposed to the opposite sex in those facilities and issue a statement that the "foregoing does not prevent a person of the opposite sex from entering the facility for custodial or maintenance reasons," or to render medical assistance or to "prevent an immediate threat to student safety."


 

 

 

 

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