Despite the Obama administration’s affirmation in May that transgender students have the right to use the bathroom proper to their gender identity, two federal lawsuits out of Wisconsin and Maryland, respectively, lay bare that some public schools continue to openly disregard transgender students by enforcing unreasonable policies and inconvenient unisex options, if any.
Think Progress delves into the specificities pertaining to both lawsuits:
The lawsuits both describe the school administration’s decision to give trans students the option of either a unisex or girls bathroom or locker room as stigmatizing and humiliating. The Talbot County, Maryland student, called M.A.B. in the lawsuit, is interested in joining the school soccer team but said the lack of locker room access makes it difficult to participate or bond with other boys. The single-occupancy bathroom is also far from his classes, forcing him to wait longer to use the bathroom than other students and has made him late to physical education class. The Kenosha, Wisconsin student, Ash Whitaker, who, due to medical issues, has to drink a lot of water, tried to stop going to the bathroom at school, endangering his health.
As if being referred to with the incorrect pronouns wasn’t disrespectful enough, Whitaker was met with confrontation every step of the way at his Kenosha, Wisconsin high school, from a prom debacle to being barred from lodging with other boys during his school trips. Worse of all, Whitaker was made to wear a green bracelet, along with other transgender students, to identify them by their gender identity to school staff.
To learn more about both federal lawsuits, click here.