A male physical education teacher has been told he could be fired after refusing to monitor boys showers in which a biological female could be present. That’s according to a leading legal group that specializes in cases of constitutional violation.
When a biological girl at Chasco Middle School in Port Richey, Fla. decided to self-identify as a male, she was granted immediate access to the boys’ locker room and bathrooms. In addition, according to a letter sent by Liberty Counsel, the boys nor their parents were given any forewarning of this decision.
The letter, addressed to Ms. Cynthia Armstrong, Chairman of the District School Board of Pasco County, declared:
We are writing you to request that the School Board take immediate action on behalf of Pasco County Public Schools (“the District”), in response to Pasco County administrators’ adoption of an apparently unwritten “policy” regarding “transgender” issues, and subsequent civil rights violations it has engendered against students and teachers.
At the outset, both Liberty Counsel and our local contacts love all people. Our local employee contacts love working with students and desire to assist in their positive development. They would never “discriminate” against a child based on the child’s beliefs about the nature of sex and gender, but would at all times treat them with kindness and respect.
The latest flashpoint for the application of this “unwritten policy” is at Chasco Middle School. The policy vests unfettered, unbridled discretion in district administrators – with no policy determination by the Pasco County School Board. It violates the conscience rights of two P.E. teachers, as well as the privacy and conscience rights of the boys they are charged with protecting. The parents of a girl who thinks (or at least says) she is a boy have determined to have her use the boys’ bathroom, and to require others to refer to her with false gender pronouns “he” and “him.””
According to details revealed in the letter, the unidentified transgender female entered the male locker room on September 27, “catching boys (literally) with their pants down,” and “causing them embarrassment and concern.” But when teachers Robert Oppedisano and Stephanie Christensen objected to the behavior, they were told by administrators that they had to comply with school policy. As such, the teachers were instructed that they were not to give the boys forewarning of when the biological female was going to enter the bathroom, as this would be “discriminatory.”
But the school officials did not stop there. They subsequently demanded that Oppedisano walk into the locker room and observe the students, “despite a girl potentially being nude or undressed in that area.”
“The administrators told him that the girl in question had ‘every right to use the locker room,’ including the right to disrobe in the open locker area, and shower in its open showers, where Robert is required to periodically walk in and supervise,” the letter explained. “Robert will not knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress.”
Oppendisano says that, as a result of the conflict caused by the whole incident, administrators told him that “he will be transferred to another school as discipline.” The reason? “For ‘not doing your job in the locker room.’”
Liberty Counsel argued that the school policy was adopted without even being approved by the educational board.
“No law requires this course of events,” the letter stated. “Objective biological sex – male and female – is (and should remain) the determining factor for access to gender-appropriate public school facilities and programs, not subjective mental “identity” claims or beliefs that one is the opposite sex, or a feeling that one is not one’s actual biological sex. The District is violating male students’ and teachers’ rights at Chasco Middle School.”