A school board in Wisconsin has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a lawsuit in the case of a transgender former student born female who was initially denied the request to use boys’ bathrooms.
The Kenosha Unified School Board voted 5-2 Tuesday night in favor of the $800,000 settlement, Kenosha News reported. Lawyers said that $650,000 of that sum would go toward attorney’s fees.
The student, Ash Whitaker, a biological female who identifies as a male, claimed the school had carried out discriminatory practices in requiring that students use the bathrooms of the gender they were born with.
Whitaker, who graduated Tremper High School in June 2017, also claimed that school staff would monitor trips to the bathroom.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in May to uphold U.S. District Court Judge Pamela Pepper’s injunction allowing Whitaker to use male-only restrooms despite the school’s directives.
The settlement also allows Whitaker to use male bathrooms when returning to the school as an alumni.
“I am deeply relieved that this long, traumatic part of my life is finally over and I can focus on my future and simply being a college student,” Whitaker, who is now attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in response to the settlement decision.
“Winning this case was so empowering and made me feel like I can actually do something to help other trans youths live authentically. My message to other trans kids is to respect themselves and accept themselves and love themselves. If someone’s telling you that you don’t deserve that, prove them wrong.”
Ronald S. Stadler, the board’s lawyer, insisted that the district “never engaged in any acts of overt discrimination against transgender individuals,” according to The New York Times.
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Source: Christian Post