The decade's most triggering comedy
A Wisconsin school district will be forced to allow male students who identify as female to use the girls’ restroom and locker room, a federal judge ordered Thursday.
The Mukwonago Area School District in the Milwaukee area is prohibited from enforcing its new policy banning students from using the bathroom of the opposite sex after Judge Lynn Adelman in the Eastern District of Wisconsin issued a temporary restraining order against the policy.
The mother of an 11-year-old trans-identifying student, a boy who identifies as a girl, filed the lawsuit on behalf of her son.
The judge’s decision blocks the district from keeping the 11-year-old boy out of the girls’ bathroom. The temporary restraining order states that the boy has been using the girls’ bathroom since he was in third grade and is entering sixth grade. The boy is reportedly currently attending summer school and was told by school district staff that he must use either the boys’ bathroom or a gender-neutral option. The restraining order also says the boy is suffering “emotional and mental harms” due to the bathroom policy.
“We are very pleased that the court recognized so clearly that our client’s rights were being violated and that immediate action was needed to protect her,” a member of the pre-teen student’s legal team told Newsweek.
“We hope this gives her a chance to enjoy the rest of her summer program and look forward to defending this victory as the litigation continues,” the student’s legal team member said.
The district’s bathroom policy, called the “Student Privacy in Restrooms and Locker Rooms,” was unanimously passed by the school board on June 26.
“The Board believes students should feel safe and secure in the school environment, and the Board respects their right to privacy as it pertains to the use of District facilities,” the policy reads. “To that end, except as otherwise required by law, students shall use restroom and locker room facilities on District property and at District-sponsored events according to each student’s sex assigned at birth.”
The school district said the new bathroom and locker room policy will allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis. School staff, school officials, the student’s parents, and the student will consult together on accommodations for those exceptions.
The mother of the trans-identifying student accused the Mukwonago school district of “ongoing discrimination” against her son. She said Superintendent Joe Koch and the school district are “targeting an eleven-year-old child, and that is disgusting.”
“No student should have to endure consistent invasions of their privacy and have their well-being threatened,” the mother said.
The school district responded to Thursday’s ruling by saying it would “continue to defend” the bathroom policy “in the interest of protecting the safety, privacy, and wellness of all students.”
Over the last few years, gender identity has become a prominent issue for parents and school districts nationwide, with many parents weighing in on bathroom policies, LGBT curriculum content, and parental notification policies.
Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year.