Florida School District must allow trans student to use restroom, court rules

Trans students in the Jacksonville area will be able to use the restroom that agrees with their preferred gender identity, a judge has ruled. Specifically, the Florida student in question will be allowed to use the boys’ restroom.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan, who oversees the Middle District of Florida, agreed with the perspective of Drew Adams, 17. Adams and the LGBTQ advocacy organization Lambda Legal filed a suit against the St. Johns County School Board.

As reported by Metro Weekly, Adams had been aware of his true gender identity for many years. The plaintiff came out as male three years ago: “Like Virginia student Gavin Grimm, Adams, then a freshman at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Fla., was able to the boys’ restroom for a short period of time before someone filed an anonymous complaint with the school board.”

“The school then told Adams he could only use gender-neutral restrooms if he refused to use girls’ facilities.”

Lambda argued that SJCSB violated the constitutional rights of Adams. Specifically, the Board transgressed against the Equal Protection Class of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

Lambda also argued that the Board was in violation of Title IX, the most famous clause of 1972’s Education Amendments Act.

Finally, according to Lambda, the Board’s intent was to send a message that trans students did not deserve respect or the other rights of School District students.

Corrigan said that Adams posed no threat to his fellow students.

According to the Ocala Star Banner, “The ruling is said to be nationally significant, in part because this case went farther than several others in recent years. It had a three-day trial and additional arguments before the ruling, whereas several other recent cases were decided without a full trial, said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, the attorney representing Adams.”

Paul Castillo, a senior attorney for Lambda, applauded Corrigan’s ruling. He said ““For St. John’s County School Board to have a policy that says Drew is somehow less deserving of the same safe, respectful learning environment as any other child because he is transgender is discriminatory.”

“We are pleased that Drew will be able to start his senior year being able to use the restroom that matches who he is, just like any other student.”