After Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to public school administrators at Vigo County School Corporation, they are no longer requiring a male middle school P.E. teacher to supervise a gender-confused girl who has been permitted to change in the boys’ locker room. However, the school district continues to not inform the boys that a biological girl would be undressing with them in the open locker room area. School officials also have not informed parents about the situation.
In early August 2023, the male teacher requested on several occasions a conscience-based religious accommodation from the school district to be reassigned from the locker room duty. After initially not receiving any religious accommodation, Liberty Counsel sent the demand letter on August 17 on the teacher’s behalf to Vigo County’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christopher Himsel. The letter requested the district grant the teacher’s religious accommodation based on his sincerely held Christian beliefs as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The demand letter outlined how the directive to supervise a biological female in the boys’ locker room would violate the teacher’s religious, scientific, and moral beliefs about the nature of sexuality as well as the rights of the boys and their parents. The letter stated his religious beliefs would be violated if he was forced to do any of the following:
- “Observe a female (who is not his wife) in a state of nudity or undress.”
- “Cause minor boys to unknowingly undress in front of and be observed by a minor female.”
- “Lie to students and parents (whether by omission or commission).”
While the school district accommodated the teacher’s first concern, it has not yet accommodated the teacher’s other two religious concerns. Despite an additional follow-up letter from Liberty Counsel on September 8, the school district has not yet responded as to how it will accommodate the teacher to protect the boys’ privacy and avoid omitting the truth from them and their parents.
Notably, the male teacher was informed by the school district that the girl he was to supervise is being “chemically transitioned.” Liberty Counsel advised the school district that Indiana law forbids female genital mutilation. If the district has knowledge of any intent to chemically sterilize or surgically mutilate this child in violation of Indiana law, it is obligated to report this child abuse to law enforcement.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The school district cannot force a male P.E. teacher to supervise a biological girl in the boys’ locker room where she undresses for gym class. Neither may a school force a teacher to lie to the boys and hide this situation from parents. And certainly, a public school cannot ignore religious accommodations which are protected by law. The school must reverse course and protect the rights and privacy of students, teachers, and parents.”