A student who is transgender files a lawsuit against the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. He tells 44News, he is forced to use the girls restroom even though he identifies as a male.
The lawsuit is challenging EVSC’s non-discrimination policy. The student is a minor and wishes to remain anonymous. We’ll refer to the student as J.A.W, as he’s referred to in the lawsuit.
Recently, he spoke out at an EVSC School Board Meeting, asking the board to add gender identity to its non-discrimination policy.
“With gender identity being added to the non-discrimination policy you are saying that you are providing a safe place for students like me,” said J.A.W at the school board meeting on February 6th, 2018.
At that point, he knew he was about to file a lawsuit against the school corporation.
“The main issue which is my argument here is that transgender individuals like myself are not able to use the bathroom at EVSC facilities of our identity,” said J.A.W.
He says because his birth certificate says his gender at birth was female, he can not use the male restrooms. If he does, he could be disciplined.
The lawsuit states, “The denial of his ability to use the male restrooms violate both the equal protection clause for the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.
“The main reason I choose not to use the women’s restroom is because it makes me uncomfortable and because I’m not female,” said J.A.W. “I identify as male and honestly it makes other people uncomfortable if I have to because now I’ve undergone 6-7 months of testosterone and I don’t appear as female anymore.”
A statement from the EVSC reads in part “We believe we have met and will continue to meet the requirements of Indiana and federal law as it relates to transgender students.”
J.A.W says he filed the suit because there have been similar lawsuits filed around the Hoosier State where the plaintiff has won.
He says, at the end of the day he just wants to feel safe in school and for EVSC to start a new policy that would be more accepting for transgender people that goes beyond what bathroom they’re allowed to use.
“Always the first argument is where are trans kids going to use the bathroom? But you know it’s more things like that, it’s more like adding gender identity to our non-discrimination policy,” said J.A.W. “It’s a lot of other things that the EVSC could be doing which they’re not right now.”
The EVSC has not yet legally responded to this lawsuit filed against them. They have several weeks to do so.