The school reportedly wants to restrict bathroom use
Credit: Fox News
In a story that’s becoming all too common, another trans high school student is fighting for the right to use the bathroom of his choice. Only this time, the high school in question has allegedly suggested trans students wear green wristbands to distinguish them from other students.
The young boy in the middle of this legal battle is Ash Whitaker, a 16-year-old from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who successfully persuaded school officials to let him run for prom king earlier this year. However, the Kenosha Unified School District has since backtracked from this progressive move, reportedly proposing Whitaker and other transgender students wear wristbands to better restrict the bathrooms they can use.
A federal lawsuit filed by Whitaker’s attorneys against the school district states, "Branding transgender students in this way would single them out for additional scrutiny, stigma, and potentially harassment or violence, and violate their privacy by revealing their transgender status to others.” Beyond enforcing physical identification, the lawsuit claims school officials also commonly refer to Whitaker using female pronouns, his female birth name, and fail "to inform substitute teachers and other staff members" of his preferences.
Meanwhile, district representatives have flatly denied any wrongdoing. In a statement released to Mashable on Friday, the Kenosha Unified School District said they did not exercise a "practice or policy requiring any student to wear a wristband for monitoring any purpose or for any reason whatsoever.”
In the course of the lawsuit, Whitaker’s attorneys will emphatically cite the school’s violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Ultimately, discrimination of any kind is a harsh reminder of the work we have yet to do to ensure equality for all. At the very least, we should expect our public schools to foster spaces of acceptance and inclusivity for the most vulnerable populations of American youth.