Controversy Again: Round Rock ISD Allows Boy in Female Locker Rooms; Stalls Parent Complaint Process
Round Rock, Texas – This week, Round Rock ISD (RRISD) finds itself in the middle of another controversy, this time centered around a male high school student being allowed to use a female locker room without the school district notifying parents it was happening.
Late last year Round Rock ISD student Jane Doe*, a female high school senior, experienced trauma and unfair treatment when a male high school junior walked in on her locker room while she was undressing to change her gym clothes. The school district failed to give parents or students advance notice of the fact that they had approved a male student to use the girls’ locker room, as the student appears to claim he “identifies” as a female. In response, Jane Doe’s parents filed a safety grievance with RRISD, asking for a clear policy regarding who has access to sex-specific spaces on school district campuses. Texas Values recently filed a Public Information Act request with the school district on this issue.
Jonathan Saenz, president and attorney for Texas Values released the following statement:
“It’s really happening in Texas: male students are being allowed to undress alongside female students in locker rooms that are supposed to be private and separated by sex, and the school district is ignoring the concerns of parents. Round Rock ISD again finds itself in the middle of a major controversy as it has placed politics above privacy and education and female students are being hurt. The parents want a public hearing on this matter immediately.”
After staff-level meetings failed to establish any clear policy or adequate solution, Jane Doe’s parents requested an in-person hearing from RRISD. Texas Values president and attorney Jonathan Saenz has been retained to represent the parents in this matter. So far, the school district has not acknowledged a policy in place allowing males to be in female locker rooms or restrooms, and has failed to schedule a public hearing for the parents.
Despite a student suffering mental distress and loss of Title IX privacy rights, Round Rock ISD failed to adequately address the issue during the lower-level stages of the grievance process, and strangely offered to provide a “pop-up tent” inside the girls’ locker room as a solution for Jane Doe’s privacy. Per the school’s suggestion, Jane Doe currently is forced to go home to change each day, resulting in her missing classroom instruction, while the male student continues to be allowed to undress in the female locker room.
In support of Jane Doe and her parents, Texas Values filed an open records request with RRISD on March 9, 2022. Texas Values requested, among other things, emails and communications of school staff at Round Rock High School regarding “allowing students to enter sex-designated restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms that are different than the student’s sex designated on their birth certificate.”
The school district claims its search yielded almost one million pages of information on this topic! School district staff wrote a letter quoting an estimate of $29,147.79, with 50% of the fee paid in advance, to fulfill our request.
Texas Values is currently appealing this massive charge to the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Meanwhile, the privacy of Jane Doe and other female students remain threatened and at risk as the district fails to take any real steps toward clarifying their policy and instead continues to deny rights to its students.