Monday, September 26, 2016

The abuse of a trans boy is curtailed - at least for now

Ashton Whitaker
Last week, a federal judge enjoined (see the order below the fold) the Kenosha Unified School District from denying Ashton Whitaker access to the boys' facilities. I have written about Ashton before. He is a brave kid in spite of the school's deliberate abuse. In the original complaint we learned:
[School personnel including the superintendent] have repeatedly refused to recognize or respect A.W.’s gender identity and have taken a series of discriminatory and highly stigmatizing actions against him based on his sex, gender identity, and transgender status.
The actions, as described more fully herein, have included (a) denying him access to boys’ restrooms at school and requiring him to use girls’ restrooms or a single- occupancy restroom; (b) directing school staff to monitor his restroom usage and to report to administrators if he was observed using a boys’ restroom; (c) intentionally and repeatedly using his birth name and female pronouns, and failing to appropriately inform substitute teachers and other staff members of his preferred name and pronouns, resulting in those staff referring to him by his birth name or with female pronouns in front of other students; (d) instructing guidance counselors to issue bright green wristbands to A.W. and any other transgender students at the school, to more easily monitor and enforce these students’ restroom usage;
The conclusion of US District Court Judge Pamela Pepper is based in part on the likelihood of Ashton Whitaker to ultimately prevail on the merits:
For the reasons explained above, the court GRANTS IN PART the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Dkt. No. 10. The court ORDERS that defendants Kenosha Unified School District and Sue Savaglio-Jarvis (in her capacity as superintendent of that district) are ENJOINED from
(1) denying Ash Whitaker access to the boys’ restrooms;
(2) enforcing any policy, written or unwritten, against the plaintiff that would prevent him from using the boys restroom during any time he is on the school premises or attending school-sponsored events;
(3) disciplining the plaintiff for using the boys restroom during any time that he is on the school premises or attending school-sponsored events; and
(4) monitoring or surveilling in any way Ash Whitaker’s restroom use.
Ash's attorneys asked the court to require school personnel from using female pronouns in referring to him. Without explanation, that protection is not included in the order.

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