A liberal federal judge has ruled that a Wisconsin school district must let trans-identifying biological male students use the girls’ restroom.
Judge Lynn Adelman in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, who Bill Clinton appointed, prohibited the Mukwonago Area School District from enforcing its policy banning students from using the bathroom of the opposite sex in his temporary restraining order against the rule on Thursday.
The lawsuit was brought on by the family of an 11-year-old boy who identifies as a girl.
The school district’s “Student Privacy in Restrooms and Locker Rooms” policy was unanimously approved by the school board on June 26. It states that “The Board believes students should feel safe and secure in the school environment, and the Board respects their right to privacy as it pertains to the use of District facilities. To that end, except as otherwise required by law, students shall use restroom and locker room facilities on District property and at District-sponsored events according to each student’s sex assigned at birth.”
The policy also states that requests for exceptions will be considered on a “case-by-case basis” and reviewed by “a team of District staff on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the student, the student’s parents, the Director of Student Services, the school psychologist, the school counselor, the classroom teacher, the building principal, and any other individuals the District deems appropriate.”
In his order, Judge Adelman wrote that the student has “identified as female since the age of three” and has “participated with girls in gender-separate school activities.” The student has also, according to the order, “used the girls’ bathroom at school since moving to the district and beginning third grade,” according to a report from local station TMJ4.
On June 16, the student’s family was informed that he would be “required to use either the boys’ bathroom or a gender-neutral bathroom at the school.”
The judge wrote that a “policy that requires an individual to use a bathroom that does not conform with his or her gender identity punishes that individual for his or her gender non-conformance.” The court also found that providing “a gender-neutral alternative is not sufficient to relieve the School District from liability, as it is the policy itself which violates [Title IX].”
The ruling says that making the boy use the boys’ bathroom “caused plaintiff to suffer severe emotional distress and mental health effects, including thoughts of self-ham, nightmares, embarrassment, social isolation and stigma, and lowered self-esteem.”
“For the reasons stated, IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order is GRANTED. The Mukwonago Area School District, Superintendent Joe Koch, and all officers, employees, and agents of defendants, are hereby restrained from: (1) enforcing against plaintiff any policy, practice, or custom that denies plaintiff access to girls’ restrooms at school and school-sponsored events; and (2) taking any formal or informal disciplinary action against plaintiff for using girls’ restrooms at school and school-sponsored events,” the ruling concluded.
According to a report from the Daily Wire, the school district responded to Thursday’s ruling by saying it would “continue to defend” the bathroom policy “in the interest of protecting the safety, privacy, and wellness of all students.”