Talbot County Public Schools sued over locker room access for transgender student

Posted at 1:03 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 13:45:49-04

A Baltimore-based LGBTQ advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Talbot County Public Schools, claiming officials refused to let a transgender boy use the locker room aligned with his gender identity.

FreeState Justice issued a statement saying the school system violated Title IX, a law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally-funded education programs and activities. The student, identified only his initials, M.A.B., is a 14-year-old rising freshman at St. Michaels Middle-High School in St. Michaels, Md.

The group states that following an appeal upheld in April by the U.S. Department of Education that gave transgender students equal access to public school restrooms, the Talbot County school system allowed the student to use the boy’s bathroom, but refused admission to the locker rooms, claiming those areas weren’t included in the ruling.

The lawsuit seeks immediate access to the school’s restrooms and locker rooms matching the boy’s gender identity “on the same terms as all other students.”

“Requiring a transgender boy to use a girls’ locker room or to use a separate and substandard facility that lacks benches, lockers, and showers violates equal access protections mandated under federal and state law,” Jer Welter, M.A.B.’s attorney and FreeState Justice’s Deputy Director and Managing Attorney said in a news release.

No Talbot County Public Schools officials were available for comment Wednesday.

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