Maine Court Makes ‘Momentous Decision’ in Favor of Transgender Student

Ana Martinez

On Thursday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of a transgender student after her elementary school denied her access to the girls’ bathroom. By doing so, the school violated state anti-discrimination law, Al Jazeera America reports: In the Maine case, Nicole Maines was using the girls' bathroom at her elementary school after school officials and her parents agreed it would be best for her social development. The grandfather of a fifth-grade boy complained to administrators, and the Orono school district determined that she should use a staff bathroom. Her parents said that amounted to discrimination; in a letter to the school, her mother wrote that being relegated to the staff bathroom gave Nicole feelings of "depression, lack of self-worth, and as she put it, freak-ness," according to court documents.  Nicole's father said all he had ever wanted was for his daughter to be treated just like her classmates. He said he was overcome with emotion when he learned of the decision. State high courts have never before sided in favor of a transgender person using the bathroom of the gender they identify with, according to the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project, called the ruling "a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people.” 

Ana Martinez is a Spring 2014 intern.
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