Friday, 15 December, 2017

Jackie Evancho's Transgender Sister Juliet Wins Federal Court Ruling Over School Bathrooms

Juliet Evancho and Elissa Ridenour Juliet Evancho and Elissa Ridenour
Howard Terry | 03 March, 2017, 00:21

Last week, the Trump administration implemented a reversal of legal protections allowing transgender students to use whichever public school bathroom corresponds with their gender identity.

Local students won't be affected by the Trump administration's reversal Wednesday of federal transgender student rights guidance.

U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak of the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that Pine-Richland school district must immediately cease barring three high school seniors - 18-year-old Juliet Evancho, 18-year-old Elissa Ridenour, and 17-year-old "A.S." - from using bathrooms that they previously were able to access under the district's old policy.

Under the new Trump administration, once Alabama Sen.

The court, which suspended enforcement of Resolution 2 as the case continues through the court, also denied the Pine-Richland School District's request to dismiss the case.

Mr. President, why don't you think transgender students enjoy federal protection under Title IX.

Tom Kopp, superintendent of Keshequa Central School, echoed Cole's comments "as representative of Keshequa's position".

Attorneys for both sides acknowledge the district treats the students according to their gender identities in other respects, including referring to them by the pronouns they each prefer.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Casey Smith said "the department does not collect data" on how many school districts in the state have passed transgender rights policies. "This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student's gender identity, including discrimination based on a student's transgender status". "I'm very happy and it's a relief", she said.

After previously allowing the students to use their desired restrooms, the Pine-Richland school board voted 5-4 to pass the restroom policy in 2016, responding to fears expressed in public meetings "that a student would in essence masquerade as being transgender, and would then use a designated student restroom inconsistent with their assigned sex", the judge wrote. This "Dear Colleague" memo to staff was addressed to school districts and colleges that receive federal funding.

John Ellis, the school's counselor, said the withdrawal of the guidance will not change the school's operation at all.

"Keshequa, like all other districts in the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, focuses on supporting student and family needs as we endeavor to provide a safe learning environment for all students", Kopp said. A joint statement from the Justice and Education Department now says individual states can decide how to handle the issue in schools. For one, he recognized that the Supreme Court's ongoing consideration of that question in Gavin Grimm's case precluded his ability to rule on it.

Adolescence is already a confusing time for many students, however if you do not identify with your external gender it can be even more hard. Despite the Trump Administration's recent stance against allowing transgender washroom rights to kids in schools, Juliet Evancho's win in court could mean trouble for Trump's transgender bathroom decree.

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