180721-nrr-bathroomplaintiff-01

A lawsuit against the Sutherlin School District over transgender bathroom use was dropped Wednesday.

Summer Eastwood and her son, identified only as “T.B.” in the lawsuit, had sued the school district in Douglas County Circuit Court in May. They hoped to force the school district to mandate students use bathrooms matching their biological gender at birth. Sutherlin’s school policy allows transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

Eastwood argued her son and other students were embarrassed when a transgender male student identified in the lawsuit as Tyler, who was born a girl but identifies as a boy, walked in while they were using the urinals in the boys’ bathroom.

Ray Hacke of the Pacific Justice Institute, who represented Eastwood and her son, said his clients chose to drop the case for two reasons. First, Hacke said the school district had agreed to improve privacy in the school bathrooms, including providing walls around urinals and showers.

Second, he said recent court decisions in similar cases haven’t gone their way. For example, a federal judge last month dismissed a similar lawsuit against a school district in Dallas, Oregon, in which parents had sought to block the district’s policy of allowing transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.

“This is the way that courts are trending. We at Pacific Justice Institute don’t agree with it. We do believe there are legitimate reasons to keep bathrooms segregated by sex,” Hacke said.

Hacke said his clients continue to “feel strongly that girls don’t belong in boys’ bathrooms.”

“And make no mistake, Tyler is a girl,” Hacke said.

However, he said the school district’s efforts to improve privacy are “at the very least the next best thing.”

“We said from the outset it’s about privacy not prejudice, and (Eastwood’s) concerns about privacy have been assuaged. So that’s the bottom line,” Hacke said.

He said creating stalls around urinals and showers is a fair compromise.

“This way Tyler can have access to the boys’ bathrooms and locker rooms, and the boys can feel like they at least have measures in place to keep them from feeling completely weirded out,” he said.

Sutherlin School Superintendent Terry Prestianni said that facility alterations to increase privacy began soon after the issue of restroom use was raised, and they will continue as time and finances allow. He said all urinals in restrooms near common areas like the activity center and hallway bathrooms now have privacy doors, and some shower privacy stalls have also been created.

“Obviously we’re glad that the case has been dismissed. Sutherlin School District will continue with our overall mission to ensure that all students are provided with a safe and respectful learning environment,” said Prestianni, who had also been a named defendant in the lawsuit.

“We do a good job educating students, and we’re going to continue to do that,” he said.

React to this story:

13
3
1
6
4

Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(10) comments

pwchoices

Lawsuit over transgender bathroom use peters out.

Plaintiff's find it's a hard nut to crack

bohica13

More left wing lunacy compliments of the Democratic (Progressive) Party!

TEB

This should never even be an issue! Our country is giving in to total depravity. Why do we as parents/grandparents have to subject our children to those who are sexually confused and mentally unstable? Ridiculous! And we wonder why are public schools are failing and why so many parents are choosing other educational options? All I can say is the day a boy or man walks into a bathroom that I or my granddaughters are using is a day that will not be tolerated!

Rockyboy

"'And make no mistake, Tyler is a girl,' Hacke said."

Nice cheapshot.

sandra Jo

right!?

pwchoices

Unfortunately, America has "transformed." Now it is a nation of confused gender identity, federal protections and preposterous situations. All of this for a minority so small as to be insignificant.

Comment deleted.
Sick of County Government

Do they have a bathroom rape epidemic? Has it ever happened? Even once?

bohica13

More left wing lunacy! God save us from pestilence, and the Democratic Party!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.