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Trans Teen Wins Lawsuit Allowing Students Equal Access To Restrooms

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 11 Aug 2020 14:34
Trans Teen Wins Lawsuit Allowing Students Equal Access To RestroomsTrans Teen Wins Lawsuit Allowing Students Equal Access To RestroomsPA Images

After a three-year legal battle, a transgender teenager has won a lawsuit allowing students equal access to restrooms.

Drew Adams enrolled at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida, in 2015 and despite identifying as a boy, he was still made to use the girl’s restroom. He transitioned from male to female in his freshman year at the school.

Adams used to use the boys toilets without incident for weeks until several girls complained, which his when he and his mother, Erica Kasper, decided to file a lawsuit.

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PA Images

After filing the lawsuit in 2017, Adams won his case a year later but in 2019 his school district appealed the decision. On Friday, August 7, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling in favour of Adams once again.

Adams named the move as Title IX which bans sex discrimination in ‘any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.’

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Speaking about ruling in favour of Title IX,  Judge William H. Pryor said:

A public school may not punish its students for gender nonconformity. Neither may a public school harm transgender students by establishing arbitrary, separate rules for their restroom use. The evidence at trial confirms that Mr. Adams suffered both these indignities.

The record developed in the District Court shows that the School Board failed to honor Mr. Adams’s rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX.

Following the win, Adams said he was glad to see ‘justice prevail’ after spending a lot of his time in high school looking for equal treatment.

As per his legal team, he said:

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High school is hard enough without having your school separate you from your peers and mark you as inferior. I hope this decision helps save other transgender students from having to go through that painful and humiliating experience.

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Adams’ mother Erica added:

Our family is extremely relieved that the court sided with our son, and affirmed it was discriminatory to deny him equal access to the restroom. It was so painful to watch our son suffer discrimination at the hands of his school, when the only thing he should have to worry about is getting a good education.

I hope all schools across the country are paying attention to what we went through and to this decision.

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Congratulations to Drew and his legal team on winning such a monumental change.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers. 

Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Andrew Adams, Drew Adams, Florida, LQBTQ+, Now, Trans Rights

Credits

NBC and 1 other
  1. NBC

    Florida teen wins transgender rights suit in federal court

  2. Lambda Legal

    Victory! Federal Court Rules Trans Students Must Have Access to Bathrooms That Match Their Gender