R12Two News / 18 MAR 2015 – The Student’s Right To Privacy Act was introduced in the Nevada Legislature on Tuesday by Assemblywoman Vicki Dooling.
Following the lead of several other states, this legislation seeks to protect the privacy of students in public school restrooms, showers or locker rooms by keeping these facilities sex separated.
“It still comes as a surprise to many parents that there are people advocating to allow boys in the girls bathroom,” said Karen England, a privacy advocate and Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute. “But, of course privacy opponents rarely are so blunt about their intentions. They lobby for open bathrooms and locker rooms claiming that open bathrooms actually provide more privacy and safety.”
Without notice to parents, Washoe County School District recently passed a regulation mandating co-ed facilities in public schools. Turning the idea of privacy on its head, the Washoe policy declares a right to privacy for students that self identify as a different gender than their physiological or biological sex. While creating a number of special rights for “transgender” or “gender nonconforming youth”, the new regulation is silent as to the privacy rights of students that feel that access to facilities should be based on gender reality not identity.
Nevada’s Clark County School District is apparently attempting to push through a similar policy. While drafts of the policy have leaked to the public, officials at the District are not responding to questions or criticism.
“The Washoe policy and proposed Clark County policy are examples of why this new statewide legislation is needed,” said England. “These district administrators are favoring special rights for a few over concern for privacy and comfort of so many more students.”
The proposed Students Right To Privacy Act provides that restrooms, locker rooms and showers designated for use by one biological sex must only be used by members of that biological sex. The legislation also provides for providing options to students who assert a gender identity different than their biological sex including access to single stall, uni-sex or faculty restrooms.
“The proposed Nevada law strikes the perfect balance. It shows compassion for those that feel uncomfortable in traditional sex separate facilities, but respects the privacy and safety of so many others who would be intruded on if access to facilities is based on identity rather than reality,” said England.