Wisconsin Male Middle Schooler Sues School District Over Being Barred From Girls Bathroom

The boy says he has experienced gender dysphoria since third grade.
A close-up shot of a sink in a school bathroom, they are following COVID-19 protocols with soap and hand wash available.
(Getty Images)

A middle school boy is suing his Wisconsin school district for allegedly barring him from using the girls’ bathroom.

The unnamed seventh grader, known as Jane Doe in court documents, filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court.

The 13-year-old is accusing the Elkhorn Area School District southwest of Milwaukee of violating Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment.

The boy says that he told a teacher he identified as transgender and wanted to use female pronouns back in the fall of 2022 when he was in sixth grade. He claims he had experienced gender dysphoria since third grade.

The teacher brought his parents in to establish a “gender support plan,” but the guidance counselor did not offer to let the boy use the girls’ bathroom or locker room, according to the lawsuit. The boy was told he could use the faculty bathrooms, however, the suit says.

“These restrooms, which were located further away from her classes than the nearest girls’ restrooms, caused Jane to miss class time and to experience distress at being treated differently from other girls at school,” said the child’s attorney, Joseph Wardenski, head of a New York-based civil rights law firm.

The boy sometimes stayed home from school or drank less water while at school to avoid needing to use the bathroom, the suit claims.

The suit also claims the boy received “unwanted attention by classmates and teachers, stigma, heightened anxiety and distress, bullying and harassment by peers, and social and academic withdrawal” due to using the faculty restrooms.


The boy sometimes used the girls’ bathrooms to “avoid the distress and humiliation” of using the faculty bathroom, causing teachers and administrators to reprimand him, according to the suit.

Superintendent Jason Tadlock said Monday that he was not able to comment immediately because he had not yet reviewed it with an attorney.

“That being said, we always strive to meet all our student’s needs, and I am saddened to learn that one of our students and/or parents feel that we are not meeting their needs to their satisfaction,” Tadlock told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

It is not clear how the federal court will rule in this case as the federal courts have so far been divided on policies that bar trans-identifying students from using the bathrooms of the opposite sex.

Some federal courts have ruled that policies allowing such bathroom use violate Title IX, while others have ruled that policies prohibiting such bathroom use is a violation.

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