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Court rules Martinsville middle school must let transgender student use boys' restroom

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Posted at 5:25 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 17:25:06-04

MARTINSVILLE — The Metropolitan School District of Martinsville has been ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to allow a 13-year-old transgender student to use the boys’ bathroom at John R. Wooden Middle School.

The injunction filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU), required the middle school to provide equal treatment to the transgender student after they were denied access to the boys’ bathroom at the school.

“The law is clear: denying transgender students their right to use the correct restroom is discrimination,” Stevie Pactor, ACLU of Indiana Attorney said. “We hope that public schools and legislators will take notice and forgo future challenges by providing equal treatment to all students.”

The court ruled that preventing the student from using the school restroom based on the student’s gender identity violated Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The student, who was designated a female at birth, realized he identified as a boy since he was eight years old.

He was granted permission to legally change his name, according to the judge’s order.

When the student began attending John. R. Wooden Middle School, they were offered the use of the school’s single-sex restroom in the clinic. Due to tardy warnings and the singling out of peers, the student determined the location would not work.

After suffering from anxiety and depression, the father of the student requested they be allowed to use the boys’ restroom. This request was denied, according to the judge’s order. The school instead offered the student to switch to e-learning or to have tardiness warnings dismissed.

No issues or complaints were reported from classmates, according to the court. However, a staff member witnessed the student using the boys’ bathroom and reported him to the school administration.

The judge’s ruling states that due to the student’s reporting to suffer from irreparable harm, and the school district being unable to provide support for prospective harm, the student will be allowed to use the boys’ bathroom.