Highland school district appeals transgender ruling

The district serves parts of Delaware, Knox and Morrow counties.

“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,” Douglas Wardlow, the attorney representing Highland, said on Tuesday.

“Allowing boys in girls’ restrooms completely disregards the privacy needs and rights of all the girls who are rightfully and understandably concerned,” Wardlow said. “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.”

The district allowed Jane Doe access to a single-user bathroom, which her attorney said exacerbated the stigma of having to use a different bathroom than girls.

U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley rejected the district’s request for a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Education.

Marbley, who issued his ruling Monday evening, said the school district provided no evidence that other students were harmed by Jane Doe using the girls’ bathroom before she was banned.

The U.S. Justice and Education departments instructed school districts in May that transgender students be allowed to use bathrooms, showers and locker rooms matching their gender identity, which might not match their birth genders. Violators could lose federal education funds.

The school district’s appeal was filed with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.



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