School Restroom Policy Opens the Door for Assault

Pascha Thomas
Alliance Defending Freedom

It’s a disturbing, heartrending video to watch.

Pascha Thomas explains that a young “gender fluid” boy sexually assaulted her 5-year-old daughter in the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school.

“The night when my daughter explained to me what happened to her, I felt devastated. I felt angry. I felt betrayed. I mean, I would have never thought, you know. Who would think that?”

She and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a complaint alleging that the school district’s transgender restroom policies opened the door for the attack.

The ADF complaint charges that the City Schools of Decatur, Georgia, failed to ensure the privacy and safety of students, violating Title IX, the federal civil rights law banning discrimination in education based on sex.

ADF outlines the sequence of events, beginning in July, 2016, when the school district announced a new policy to staff members:

“that required all schools within the Decatur Schools to admit boys who identify as female into girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, and shower areas on school premises, and to house boys who identify as girls with girls on overnight school trips, based solely on the stated preference of the individual student.” (Emphasis in the original.)

The district’s policy was based on recommendations by the Department of Education under President Obama’s administration.

Parents were notified about the district’s decision 7 months later, via a Facebook post. They began banding together to protest, warning the district’s board that the rule could lead to violations of students’ privacy and safety.

In November, 2017, Thomas’ daughter became a victim of this disastrous policy. After her daughter told her what happened, Thomas reported the incident to the school. To make matters worse, when the school reported the assault to the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, the school identified her as the responsible party. So Thomas became the subject of an investigation.

Pascha Thomas has courageously come forward to tell her story, and the Department of Education is now investigating the complaint.

At Focus on the Family, we care about children and families, and are concerned with the ways in which public accommodations laws – such as that implemented in Decatur schools – affect privacy and safety. That’s why we’ve written articles, Public Restrooms – Your Privacy and Safety, to educate and equip parents about these issues.

Read more and watch the ADF video.

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