Skip to comments.(Maine) Panel rules against Orono school in transgender bathroom access
Posted on 09/22/2010 9:40:56 AM PDT by markomalley
AUGUSTA, Maine The Maine Human Rights Commission ruled Monday that Orono Middle School unlawfully discriminated against a sixth-grader during the 2008-2009 school year by not letting the male-to-female transgender student use the girls bathroom.
This is the same student whose parents filed a similar discrimination complaint against Asa Adams Elementary School in Orono when their child was a fifth grader there during the 2007-2008 school year. That case resulted in the same ruling against the school district in June 2009.
Also Monday, the commission members again began talks about developing anti-discrimination guidelines specifically for schools under the Maine Human Rights Act.
The parents of the child, who no longer attends schools in the district, wrote in their latest complaint to the commission that she experienced anxiety and depression after officials at Orono Middle School forced her to use a gender-neutral bathroom and her peers picked on her.
In choosing to disallow [her] to use the girls bathroom facilities, the school was implicitly isolating and alienating her from other students, the parents wrote. We determined that we needed to modify our actions to do the best we could to ensure [our childs] safety.
The schools response stated that the district accommodated the child by training the staff, educating the students, giving the transgender student her own bathroom, giving her her own locker room and meeting with her parents almost daily.
For the most part, she appeared to be happy and involved in the school community, the school district wrote.
In addition to the bathroom complaint, the students family alleged that Orono Middle School subjected her to a hostile educational environment.
The commissions investigator did cite in her report derogatory remarks made by other students as well as several allegations of stalking by a boy who once followed the transgender student into the girls room and harassed her by calling her faggot.
But the commissioners agreed with the investigator that there were no reasonable grounds to believe the school subjected the student to a hostile educational environment.
Neither side was in attendance at Mondays meeting because neither party filed a letter of disagreement with the commission investigators report.
I dont think it changes anything, the school districts lawyer, Melissa Hewey, said regarding the commissions decision. I think its a good ruling in that it recognized the efforts the school went through to help the student in terms of the harassment issue. The bathroom issue is something the court has to rule on.
The district is currently fighting a lawsuit against the childs family in Penobscot County Superior Court. The new decision against the middle school will likely be added to the lawsuit, which was filed after the commissions ruling in the Asa Adams case.
Hewey said the Orono school district has not changed its policies.
The student is not there, so it is currently not an issue, Hewey said.
She said no other students in the district have since asked for accommodations related to their gender.
The familys lawyer said Monday that they filed the human rights complaint against Orono Middle School because the schools policies remain unchanged.
[Orono Middle School] continued to discriminate against the child after the last [commission] decision. It is clear we have to pursue this further to get them to comply, attorney Jodi Nofsinger said Monday after the ruling.
Nofsinger said the legal battle stretched beyond this one child and is more about making the Orono schools comfortable educational environments for other transgender children who might attend the schools in the future.
They continue [discrimination] up until the present time. They are in violation to the law, Nofsinger said. The schools policy still has not changed.
Members of the Maine Human Rights Commission also discussed Monday plans to work in coordination with the state education commissioner to develop rules regarding sexual orientation, race, national origin and disabilities as they apply to education under the Maine Human Rights Act. Currently, the Maine Human Rights act does not have antidiscrimination policies in those areas. Talks regarding rule-making should begin in early 2011, after the gubernatorial election and after a new administration is in place, according to Patricia Ryan, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission.
We need to fight this one hard. This is one we win.
Gay is one we win as well, but it’s closer.
We win the transsexual debate in a landslide if anyone could bring it up.
The HRC wants grown men to be made to use the same bathroom as little girls too, unisex bathrooms.
If stuff like this is allowed you are going to see just about EVERY boy decide that he is “transgendered” right around the time he hits puberty as long as it means that he can start using the girls locker room.
Idea: Line the hall with portable toilets. These can also be used by the school staff who will eventually have the same problem.
Bring your own t-paper, seat liner, disinfectants, & gas mask.
Next he will be demanding that the school install urinals in the girls bathroom.
I want to know where LePage stands on this and where Mitchell stands on this.
There’s a Governor’s election right around the corner.
These people making this very ruling are appointed by the Governor.
You mean to tell me there are parents stupid enough to let their 5th grade child undergo a sex change operation? They should both be jailed for child endangerment, or shot, shot probably being the most appropriate punishment.
This will backfire on them. In way they can’t imagine.
why do other people's rights get trashed to protect one persons' rights..??
who knows their “transgender” at that age?....I think the parents are pushing this kid in a direction.....
I wonder how the public school defenders are going to spin this one?
Sending your kids to public school is child abuse.....
Possibly also Another Reason Not To Live In Maine
That was my thought as well.
Time to reprogram the little bigots, dontcha know?
Black Collar Crime!
The judiciary is dismantling our culture and constitution with impunity.
Could it be that the “girl” is a pre-operation hermaphrodite ?
That seems like the only legitimate cause for this suit.
If this is something the parents are pushing on a normal boy or girl, they should be imprisoned for child abuse.
OK, I give up. Who’s Christine, and how can she help us?
> “Possibly also Another Reason Not To Live In Maine”
Or Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Oregon, or California, all of which are on this chute into the septic tank.
OK, never mind, I see you’re referring to Christine O’Donnell.
Can’t we make Maine become part of Canada? They’d fit in better with the weenies in Canada, and the Maine sisters could run for whatever entity it is that wastes Canadian money and does dumb Canadian things.
And we’ll let the Canadians worry about little boys who want to be girls but have wieners...