Appeals Court Unanimously Rules Wisconsin School District Must Allow Girl in Boys’ Restroom

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The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that a Wisconsin school district must allow a girl who identifies as a boy to use the boys’ restroom, concluding that the prohibition would likely cause “irreparable harm.”

“A transgender student’s presence in the restroom provides no more of a risk to other students’ privacy rights than the presence of an overly curious student of the same biological sex who decides to sneak glances at his or her classmates,” Judge Ann Claire Williams, nominated to the bench by then-President Bill Clinton, wrote on behalf of the three-judge, all-female panel.

“Further, if the school district’s concern is that a child will be in the bathroom with another child who does not look anatomically the same, then it would seem that separate bathrooms also would be appropriate for pre‐pubescent and post‐pubescent children who do not look alike anatomically,” she said. “But the school district has not drawn this line.”

Judge Diane Wood, also nominated by Bill Clinton, and Ilana Rovner, nominated to the bench by then-President George H.W. Bush, joined Williams in the decision.

Ashton Whitaker, 16, sued the Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 and Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis in July for being denied use of the boys’ restroom and for continuing to be referred to by her feminine name. Her attorneys contended the acts violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Full Report


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