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Published On: Wed, Sep 28th, 2016

Ohio Judge rules to allow ‘transgender’ male to use school locker rooms, bathrooms,

A federal judge rejected a school district’s challenge to President Obama’s “rule” on transgender bathrooms, ordering a biologically male student who identifies as female be treated “like the girl she is.” There was no real policy changes that extend beyond the scope of the one student and leave the door open for privacy violations by others.

Judge Algenon Marbley said the Highland Local Schools in Morrow County had failed to provide a persuasive argument that giving the student access to the girls’ restroom would jeopardize other students’ privacy or safety. He further ordered that Highland use a female name and pronouns in referring to the 11-year-old.

“(S)chool districts that have encountered these very issues have been able to integrate transgender students fully into the academic and social community without disruption, and certainly without the doomsday scenarios Highland predicts, such as sexual predators entering an elementary-school restroom,” he wrote.

photo John Hain

photo John Hain

There’s “certainly no evidence” the student, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe, is likely to violate other students’ privacy or put their safety at risk when using the girls’ restroom, he wrote.

Joseph Weissman, an attorney for the student, says in a statement that the court has taken an important step in protecting the student’s rights.

“Every student has a right to be free from discrimination and harassment while at school, and we are pleased the Court has taken this important step in protecting Jane Doe’s rights,” Weissman said.

The school district’s legal team said in a statement that it is appealing the judge’s ruling.

“Schools have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students, but the judge’s order today doesn’t allow the Highland Local School District to do that,” said Doug Wardlow, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. “Allowing boys in girls’ restrooms completely disregards the privacy needs and rights of all the girls who are rightfully and understandably concerned. The school district must consider them as well, and that’s why it crafted a sound policy which respects the privacy concerns of all children and at the same time respects the diverse needs of individual children. For this reason, our client has appealed the court’s decision.”

The office restroom is used by school personnel and other adults, and the child’s parents said using it was taking “a toll on her mental health.”

A federal district court in Texas has issued a sweeping preliminary injunction against enforcement of the regulations in a lawsuit filed by Texas and at least 11 other states.

However, Marbley said because Ohio wasn’t a party to that lawsuit and because Highland’s lawsuit began before its decision the Texas court’s action doesn’t apply in this case.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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