Last July, a federal judge dismissed a case that would have prohibited students in Dallas, Ore., from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Now the groups that filed complaints—"Parents for Privacy" and "Parents Rights in Education"—want an appeal of the judge's decision, sparking another battle with statewide LGBTQ advocacy groups.
"Cases like the one being brought by Parents for Privacy are part of a nationwide trend targeting transgender youth, and it's abhorrent," Nancy Haque, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, says in a statement.
The two groups pushing for an appeal first filed a complaint in 2017 against the school district and state and federal policies that ban discrimination of transgender students. In July, 2018, federal judge Marco Hernandez dismissed the groups' complaints, citing Oregon non discrimination laws and other similar lawsuits that have been tossed out across the country.
Herbert Grey, lead counsel for Parents for Privacy and the other plaintiffs, says the case is "fundamentally about the duty of the public schools to protect the privacy, dignity and safety of all students."
Grey adds that allowing students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity is akin to "undertaking a grand experiment."
Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon, says he expects the court of appeals to uphold Judge Hernandez's decision.
Administrators at the Dallas School District could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.
Gabriel Arkles, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's LGBT and HIV project, says in a statement, "Lawsuits like these target trans and non-binary youth, and are designed to intimidate schools that are doing the right thing."
"Every court presented with this question has recognized," Arkles continues, "just as the district court in Oregon did, that the presence of transgender students in public restrooms and locker rooms does not violate anyone else's rights."