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Sutherlin High School is the latest place where issues of transgender bathroom use have landed in the courts.

It’s hard being an adolescent. We all remember the insecurity, the embarrassment of bodies run amok, the struggle for identity, the jockeying for status.

Using the bathrooms and locker rooms at school is just one more reminder how awkward it is. It would be nice if adequate stalls without gaps were available to shield everyone, male or female, going to the toilet, or changing or showering.

But dudes have been managing with the urinals for quite awhile now, and there are usually stalls available for the extra-modest student. “Pee, wash and leave” is the usual course of action.

So we couldn’t help but raise our eyebrows when we read in his attorney’s letter that a young man called “T.B.” was feeling “tremendous anxiety” because a transgender student who identifies as male was using the same bathroom he was. T.B.’s mom is suing the Sutherlin School District, calling out the transgender student, Tyler, and seeking to bar him from using the boys’ bathroom.

Poor Tyler. He has found himself on the cutting edge of the culture war in a small town where the battles can get vicious. He was born with female genitalia but identifies as a boy. He’s a member of a small minority, and one that has a much more credible claim to anxiety, not to mention depression and other ailments, largely as a result of the discrimination, bigotry and hatred they face on a daily basis.

Because let’s be crystal clear. The victim in this situation isn’t T.B. It’s Tyler.

The director of Basic Rights Oregon called this case an example of “bullying by lawsuit.” We agree.

There was a time when white people didn’t want to share bathrooms with African Americans. There was a time when it wasn’t legal in most of the country for two members of the same sex to marry each other.

Then, most people just got over it. And those who insisted on clinging to outdated bigotry crawled back under their rocks.

Until they found somebody else to pick on.

Tyler gave an interesting answer, according to his detractors, when asked why he chose to use the boys’ bathroom for the first time this January. He reportedly said “because I can.”

There’s been a bit of pushback on that comment, but we can’t see why. After all, he’s right.

Oregon law expressly considers sexual identity part of sexual orientation, making transgender people a protected class against whom discrimination is illegal. And federal law currently leaves the decision about whether to protect transgender people from discrimination in school bathrooms up to the states.

That’s one reason why a similar case brought by anti-transgender parents against the Dallas, Oregon school district was dismissed by a federal judge last week.

It’s also the reason why the lawsuit brought against the Sutherlin School District is likely to be thrown out of court, but only after it’s inconvenienced the school district and made Tyler’s already difficult life path just that much harder.

Let’s hope this nuisance suit is quickly disposed of by the court.

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(7) comments

bohica13

Liberals aren't very good at Getting Over anything they don't like. The outcry & death threats the media ENCOURAGES against Trump is a perfect example. He's OUR President! GET OVER IT!

S

Hats off to the News Review Editorial Board for calling it like they see it! Just when we were beginning to wonder where you and your values went . . . you show up in the worst of times to represent your best selves. Kudos to your anti-bigotry stand.

Mogie

Being modest doesn't make one a bigot. When liberals stop calling names perhaps a real discussion can be had. But the idea that you either embrace liberal values (funny term) or you are labeled a bigot is childish. Why is it anyone that doesn't agree with the if it feels good do it group is a bigot. Next thing you know these people and the news paper editorial folks will be telling us NAMBLA and their beliefs should be accepted. Some things make people uncomfortable. Like the New York Times putting a person on the editorial board that hates a certain gender and skin color.

jobuliga

Look I have no issues with people of the same sex marrying who they love, I have no problems with people being transgender or males feeling they are trapped in a women's body etc. What I do have a problem with is the article title. So it is ok for one person to feel awkward and we make concessions because they were a male born into a female body. That is ok, but its not ok for a male using the bathroom and a female walks in to not feel awkward...get over it is your title. Boy (no pun intended) that seems a little one sided. People need to understand that this world is changing and the views people had 20, 10, 5 years ago are not the same. I do not feel the School District needs to be sued, it did make concessions to the transgender class by making a restroom available. But by saying I will use the other bathroom, because I can does not fly. Both sides need to make concessions and by Sutherlin utilizing a bathroom for the transgender people to use proves they did this. What Tyler should have done is go to the School Board thanking them for including him and others by making a safe place for him to use the bathroom that did not put the 300 other students in an awkward position. Remember these school were built 30, 40 50 years ago when this issue had not been raised. I can bet the plans for the new school included transgender bathrooms located in the same area of male/female restrooms. Sutherlin School District I applaud you for your effort, to the lawsuit seeker and Tyler quit the BS and pull on your big boy britches and lets do what is right in this situation and everybody give a little ground, until a new school can be built.

farmrdave

This is an attack article aimed at concerned parent. This is a good example why the news papers and general news media is a failing industry. Instead of reporting the facts they feel they can write the news in any slant they wish. In this case it is against what is accepted use of bathrooms by students of opposite sex. So I ask you readers, what is acceptable in this matter. For students to choose which bathroom to use? Or males in the boys room and females in the girls? The next matter is even more important. Who decides this? Is it we tax payers and parents or is it some judge in another county that tells us what is acceptable? This appears to be a case of "the tail wagging the dog".

MasonW

But everything in this article is true and a faithful representation of this lawsuit. There was no reason to feel uncomfortable when one person is in a stall and another person is using a urinal. If there's no problem with other boys using the bathroom, then there's no problem with Tyler using the bathroom. Period.
Keep in mind this boy is being sued for wanting to urinate comfortably, and for some stupid reason these people think that's just awful.

Mogie

[rolleyes]

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