U.S.

NJ Dems want state protection for transgender students

NJ Dems want state protection for transgender students

But the preliminary injunction imposed by U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak ensures Pine-Richland's transgender students may use the bathrooms in line with their gender identities while court proceedings play out.

Most days since the policy went into effect, transgender students "were just refraining from using the restroom at school at all", said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, attorney for the plaintiffs.

The ruling comes less than a week after the Trump administration dropped Barack Obama's controversial mandate creating special "transgender" sex discrimination protections in US schools under Title IX.

Students in LCSD1 are allowed to use single-use restrooms in the schools and are given individual hotel rooms on overnight trips, Lyttle said.

"My understanding is the reversal puts the determination [of policy] back into the hands of states and local school districts", said Nancy Hacker, superintendent of the Springfield School District, which in April 2016 was the first in the state to pass a comprehensive policy on transgender rights. Moreover, Hornak found the reality of the three trans students' lived experience of their gender identity far more compelling than the article's attempts to sow doubt about what the science says.

But Hornak, an Obama appointee, declined to rule in favor of Evancho and fellow plaintiffs on the basis of the prohibition on sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which forms the basis of the litigation pending before the Supreme Court and the Obama-era guidance the Trump administration rescinded.

President Trump reversed former President Barack Obama's transgender bathroom order last week.

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Similar legal battles are being fought across the country as school officials and lawmakers debate whether transgender people should be allowed use of facilities that correspond with their gender identity rather than their birth sex. Jackie Evancho, who was "very disappointed" by the administration's decision, pleaded with the president to meet with her and her sister so she could "enlighten" him on the subject of transgender rights.

In the meantime, at least, the three students at Pine-Richland will be allowed to resume using the restrooms that match their gender identities.

The case goes to the Supreme Court on March 28, but Obama's transgender order was a part of that case.

One of the students, Elissa Ridenour, 18, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday that she was relieved by the news, and she and the other plaintiffs will soon start using the bathrooms of their choice.

Dansville Superintendent Paul Alioto said his district utilizes its Leader in Me initiative to take a proactive approach in educating students about differences and instilling the value of mutual respect.

Following the ruling, Ridenour said in a statement: "The past months have been incredibly stressful, and this was all so unnecessary. The rescission of a guidance by the Trump administration can not change that", adds Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan. "There was no problem before, and we are confident there will be no problem now".


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