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Transgender Indiana student wins legal fight for bathroom access

(Image by succo from Pixabay)

EVANSVILLE — A federal judge ruled for a transgender student who had sued the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) to use the bathrooms that his gender identity.

On Friday, the ALCU of Indiana said in a press release that U.S. District Court Judge William T. Lawrence ruled that EVSC violated the student’s rights. The ACLU had sued the district on behalf of the student, known as J.A.W., in February 2018.

From the ACLU of Indiana:

J.A.W. has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, is under a physician’s care, and is taking hormone therapy. Despite the fact that J.A.W. has long identified himself as male, he was informed by school administrators that he was not allowed to use the male restrooms.

Judge Lawrence ruled that the denial of J.A.W.’s right to use the male restrooms violated both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a). Judge Lawrence stated further that “J.A.W. has pointed to evidence that stands unrefuted that EVSC’s practice could not be stated without referencing sex and that the practice treated transgender students like J.A.W. differently.”

“Many Indiana school corporations already allow students to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity,” said Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana Legal Director. “But for those schools that continue to have discriminatory policies in place, they should heed this decision and create an academic environment that is accommodating of all students.”

The ACLU said that there will be a trial set to determine damages.

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