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.
The girls at my school would have simply thrown “his” @$$ out if “he” tried to come in.
She’s one of the few Christians left in the Republican Party apparently.
It’s another reason to vote for LePage if you live in Maine.
This “board” is appointed by the Governor. There hasn’t been a Republican Governor in Maine in 16 years.
“Her” is not a “Her”. When one has a penis and testicles they are a MALE!!!!!
I know that, hence the quote marks.
I was aiming that at the morons involved with this issue.They need to quit calling him a “her”.
Ever see They Might Be Giants? It’s a movie where George C. Scott lives as Sherlock Holmes in NYC. It’s tag line is “who’s reality is right”. The title comes from Don Quixote, who tilted at windmills because “they might be giants”. Well they weren’t bleeping giants and Quixote was crazy. Next up will students with Ethnic Identity Disorder demand to use the Colored Only Bath Room?
Does anyone know where this school is located? I am willing to bet it is in a middle to upper class area and would be considered a “good” government school.
Have Freepers noticed? Most of these school outrage stories are in schools that would be considered to be “good” schools in “good” areas.
So?....With outrageous school stories **every** day ( usually several different articles involving multiple government schools ), why would any idiot of a parent think that their child's government school is somehow different?
The conservatives of Maine are fighting the liberals here in Maine just like everywhere else.
Paul LePage, a good, solid, tea party conservative Republican, is running for Governor and is up by 10-15 in the polls.
Orono is a suburb of Bangor. Bangor is the 2nd largest city in Maine. Orono is where the University of Maine is.
born with a penis you’re a man or boy it is that simple
the parents , where the hell are they in this?
NAIL ON HEAD
The parents , WTF
I have kids and my oldest is in middle school and there is no way he would ever think about being a woman.
This is total B/S and sick
I’m not not old and even when I went to school the kids would not think this is normal
WTH is going on with kids and parents today?
What do you do if he thinks he's a dog? Let him hump your leg and pee on your foot?
Don’t they need to make him a true transgender by snipping off some parts before they will let him use the facilities?
I’d like to smack the parents who let their son decide that he’s a girl at such a young age. Good grief, most kids have a little confusion. You don’t aid and abet it; you correct it. My pre-K sons and I were looking for pajamas today, and one of them told me he wanted ballerina pajamas. (Both my boys like dance.) Did I say, okay honey, whatever? Sorry, no, this non-politically correct mommy informed him that boys do not grow up to be ballerinas. They can be dancers if they want to, but only girls grow up to be ballerinas, and therefore I wasn’t going to be buying him ballerina pj’s. (Which they didn’t have anyway.) Did he go into a decline? No, he forgot about it in about a mintue and went with the helicopter/airplane pj’s.