Michigan parents filed a lawsuit against their children's school district on Friday after four female students allegedly discovered an exposed male in the girls' restroom.
Parents took legal action against Vicksburg Community Schools over a district-wide policy that allows biological male students to use the girls' restrooms and locker room facilities.
According to the parents' 37-page federal lawsuit, the district implemented the policy without informing parents or students. Four minor female students at Vicksburg High School only learned of the policy when they discovered a biological male student inside the girls' restroom.
When the female students reported the incident to school administrators, they were told to "tolerate it" and to "look away" when a male student exposed himself, according to the lawsuit. The complaint also alleged that the girls were instructed to make the situation as "natural" as possible, the National Review reported.
The school is forcing female students to be subjected to indecent exposure, the complaint said.
One of the female plaintiffs stated that she no longer feels safe using the school's restroom after an incident in which a male student "stared" her down in a "threatening manner."
The lawsuit claimed that girls at the school feel harassed, shamed, and bullied.
"In some situations, it has caused Plaintiffs and other biologically female students to be fearful, to stay away from the girls' restrooms and locker rooms, to hold their urine the entire day, and on at least one occasion cause one of the Plaintiffs significant embarrassments during her menstrual cycle because she was fearful of using the girls' restroom," the lawsuit stated, according to National Review.
Matthew DePerno, the plaintiffs' attorney, said the district has not been transparent about the policy, WWMT-TV reported.
"The principal told them there is nothing they can do about it," DePerno explained. "The issue was settled and told the students to make the best of the situation."
"The biological males who want to use the girls' restrooms, in other school districts they are denied that and provided with a unisex bathroom to use," he added.
The school district maintains that its restroom and locker room policy is in accordance with federal guidance and Michigan law.
During an August 14 school board meeting, school board president Virgil Knowles stated, "I am not going to sit here and make a statement on whether we agree or disagree."
"Current binding case law in Michigan requires public schools to allow all students, including transgender students, to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identification," Knowles said.
He instructed parents to "take it up with [their] state legislators" if they would like to see the policy changed.
"We need to have some action at the state level, we are kind of caught in the middle of it all," Knowles added.
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