The student, biologically female but legally permitted by California law to use the boys bathroom because she self-identifies as a male, confessed in an interview with detectives that she made it all up. Officers first began to question her story when they noticed she had no physical injuries. [ref]
While I totally disagree with the California law that permitted her to be in the boys restroom in the first place, that is really a secondary issue here.
The primary issue is that the student may go unpunished for a very grave offense, i.e. to falsely accuse people of a serious crime. According to a spokesman for the school district, making the student feel safe and comfortable is more important. “We recognize that life is complicated, and at the end of the day this is a request for help,” the spokesman said about the student’s actions.
Yes, life is complicated. And it is really complicated when you are falsely accused of something you didn’t do. It also gets more complicated for real victims when people “cry wolf”, making it harder for people who are legitimately victimized to be taken seriously.
Clearly, for filing a very serious and very false report, this student needs to be punished. A suspension from school is definitely warranted, and the police should charge her with making a false criminal report. I’m not suggesting she must go to jail. But she and anyone else who thinks of similar behavior should be put on notice that it will be punished.
Now, I’m not a proponent of zero tolerance policies (more on that in a future article). However, schools have zero tolerance policies for racial or homophobic slurs. They have zero tolerance policies for fighting. Or for cheating. They even suspend little kids for pretending their fingers are guns. Shouldn’t there be a zero tolerance policy for the much more serious offense of filing a false criminal report?