The Department of Education, headed by Secretary Betsy DeVos (pictured above), is investigating whether a metro Atlanta school district’s transgender bathroom policy was a factor in an alleged sexual assault on a 5-year-old girl, multiple outlets are reporting.
The complaint, filed on behalf of the child by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal advocacy group, says a boy was allowed into the girl’s bathroom of the Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia — where he sexually assaulted the young girl.
The boy, who is biologically male but “identifies” as gender-fluid, apparently pushed the 5-year-old girl against a bathroom wall and groped her, according to the narrative submitted to the Department of Education by the ADF.
The girl and the other student, whose age has not been reported, apparently came back into the classroom and did not say anything about the incident — but the girl told her mother what happened after complaining of pain in her genital area, according to the complaint.
The school referred officials from child services to the mother’s home and suggested moving the girl out of the class.
The mom eventually transferred the child out of the school because it was “unsafe,” the complaint says.
“Unfortunately, the Decatur Schools, including Superintendent [David] Dude and the leadership of the Oakhurst Elementary School, despite being notified of the assault, have continued to discriminate against [the victim] by exhibiting deliberate indifference towards the sexual assault, towards its harmful impact on [the victim’s] educational opportunities, and towards the risks of further assaults by the assailant or others facilitated by the policy,” ADF says in its complaint.
“A school’s top priority is to protect the safety and bodily privacy of its students, period,” said ADF-allied attorney Vernadette Broyles in a release, as the Miami Herald and others reported.
“Decatur School’s policies have created a stressful, unfair, and, as in this case, even unsafe environment — particularly for girls. We are grateful that [the] OCR [Office of Civil Rights] is investigating this tragedy, and we hope the agency helps this school district and others adopt commonsense solutions that protect the privacy and safety of all students.”
Decatur City Schools pushed back on ADF’s allegation.
“City Schools of Decatur is committed to supporting all students. We are aware of the unfounded allegations made by the Alliance Defending Freedom. We fully disagree with their characterization of the situation and are addressing it with the [Education Department’s] Office of …