7th Circuit Lawsuit Regarding Transgender Student’s Rights Settles

By February 2, 2018 News No Comments

The parties in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District have reached a settlement. In 2016, a student, Ash Whitaker, filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination after openly identifying as male and being denied access to male restrooms by Kenosha Unified School District because he was born female. In addition to filing a lawsuit, Ash requested a preliminary injunction to allow him to use the facilities with which he identified pending a trial on the merits.

A Federal District Court Judge granted the preliminary injunction, which permitted Ash to use the male facilities during his senior year. The District appealed this decision, but the Seventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision in May 2017, finding that the policy was likely discriminatory and a violation of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause.

In August, the District filed a request with the Supreme Court to hear an appeal. However, on January 9, 2018, the School Board approved a settlement agreement providing Ash, now a freshman in college, with $800,000 and the ability to use the male facilities should he return to District property as an alumni. This settlement ends the District’s appeal to the Supreme Court of the preliminary injunction and the lawsuit by Ash in the Federal District Court.

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