Recently, a Title IX lawsuit was filed against a Wisconsin high school after the Kenosha School District told guidance counselors trans students must be forced to wear bright green wristbands to monitor their bathroom use.
Ash Whitaker, one of the transgender students forced to wear the wristbands, was in the news earlier this year when he tried to run for prom king and was denied; however, after the swarm of media attention, he was eventually allowed to run.
The Transgender Law Center has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ash. Alongside Ash, his mother Melissa is co-plaintiff in the case. You can read the full lawsuit here.
According to the Daily Beast, Tanya Ruder, spokesperson for the Kenosha School District, has declined to comment about the case or the students involved.
Ash filed a discrimination lawsuit against Tremper High School previously and it was dropped just a week before filing the new suit. Since coming out his sophomore year at his high school, he has run into issue after issue with this school.
Ash was only allowed to use the single-occupant bathroom in the school office or the women’s restroom, despite his gender identity. Eventually, he began using the men’s restroom and did so without incident for 7 months, until the school decided to enforce a bathroom monitoring program for Ash and other transgender students – in the form of the green arm bands.
According to the lawsuit, “he felt like his safety would be even more threatened if he had to wear this visible badge of his transgender status.”
Ash’s mother, Melissa, was a teacher at Ash’s high school. Allegedly, in April 2016, an email was sent to the security guards “instructing them to notify administrators if they spotted any students who appear to be going into the ‘wrong’ restroom.”
The Kenosha Unified School District, however, denies Ash’s allegations.
KUSD's response to the recent lawsuit filed against the district can be found at https://t.co/AyJB9AEDys
— Kenosha Unified SD (@kusd) July 21, 2016
The transgender community is fed up with bathroom discrimination, and is fighting back. During the Republican National Convention, a transgender discrimination ad aired in response to the clearly homophobic North Carolina bathroom bill.
The Daily Beast reported that when Ash asked a school official to explain how Title IX worked, she refused to answer and stated, “I don’t think I’m going to give you any reasons.”