Friday, June 10, 2016

Ohio School District Sues Feds Over Accommodation For A Transgender Student

A lawsuit was filed today in federal district court by an Ohio school district challenging the Justice Department and Department of Education's interpretation of Title IX as it applies to transgender students.  Unlike the broad-ranging lawsuit filed last month by eleven states challenging the same interpretation, today's suit focuses on accommodation, inconsistent with the new federal guidelines, already made by one school for a transgender student. The student began transitioning from male to female identity between kindergarten and first grade. The school allows the student to use single use staff restrooms, and encourages others students in the class to do likewise. The student's legal custodian has complained, and the Department of Education has investigated and proposed that the school change its policy to allow the transgender student to use sex-specific facilities. The complaint (full text) in Board of Education of the Highland Local School District v. U.S. Department of Justice, (SD OH, file 6/10/2016), says:
Highland has acceded, and will continue to accede, to the requests of Student A’s legal custodian to respect Student A’s gender-identity choice by not interfering with Student A’s current gender expression. But Highland will not accede to requests that adversely impact the dignity, privacy, safety, well-being, or rights of other students.
If the government were to deny federal funding because of a violation of Title IX, this would cost the school district $1.12 million. ADF issued a press release announcing the filing or the lawsuit.