Rokita Backs School District In Controversy Over Bathroom Facilities

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has expressed support for a school district’s stance on maintaining bathrooms based on biological sex. The Metropolitan School District of Martinsville filed an appeal on August 24 following a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decision to overturn its autonomy.

Previously, a lower court ruled that Martinsville and the Vigo County School Corporation must permit students to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. This ruling came after students initiated lawsuits in 2021.

Rokita believes there may be more to the issue than merely allowing students to select their preferred restroom. He asserted, “This is about dividing children from their parents—it’s a lot more than just bathrooms and locker rooms.” He adds, “Schools should be a safe space for kids.”

The lawsuit highlights that some students have received medical diagnoses of gender dysphoria, advocating for bathroom access aligned with their condition. Twin 15-year-old students from the Vigo County School Corporation cited gender dysphoria and a disruptive colon condition as reasons to use the male restroom.

The appeal also spotlights a 13-year-old transgender boy living in Martinsville, Indiana, who transitioned and identifies as a boy. Ken Falk, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, emphasized the emotional and physical harm students endure when denied access to appropriate facilities.

Rokita currently leads a 21-state coalition striving to help school districts implement policies maintaining facilities according to the sex assigned at birth rather than gender identity. Most parents’ top priorities are privacy, comfort, parental rights, and safety, and Rokita understands that.

He explained, “These issues extend beyond the immediate matter under scrutiny. This isn’t solely about social and cultural matters—it’s rooted in economic factors.” The report suggests that the Supreme Court might need to address similar lawsuits in schools nationwide.

California’s attorney general recently announced a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District in a related development. The case was filed in response to a policy requiring schools to inform parents when their child identifies as transgender or uses pronouns differing from their biological sex.

Some benefits of separating bathrooms by biological sex include the sense of privacy and security it offers. It can also help reduce harassment, assault, or other predatory behavior. This separation and adherence to male and female bathrooms simplifies infrastructure planning and design.