Photo: MGN Images.
Photo: MGN Images.
Updated: June 30, 2021 04:46 PM
Created: June 30, 2021 04:40 PM
A Buffalo transgender teen has won a discrimination settlement against Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools.
In 2019, Matt Woods and his mother filed a lawsuit after his middle school denied him access to the boys' bathroom and locker room for two years. They instead made him use separate facilities.
On Wednesday, Matt said he's relieved he can finally put this all behind him.
"My school made me feel depressed, suicidal... it's like two years of my education was stolen from me, and I'm still catching on that," he said.
As part of the settlement, the district has to allow students to use the facilities that match their identity, ensure they can play sports on the teams they identify with, and staff must use the pronouns consistent with a student's identity.
The settlement's sum totals up to $218,500.
This comes just months after the Anoka-Hennepin School District agreed to pay $300,000 and change its policies in a settlement of another discrimination lawsuit filed by a transgender student who had to use a single-occupancy changing room for swimming practices and gym class.
The school district provided the following statement on the update Wednesday:
"The BHM School District is committed to continuing to provide a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. The settlement was based on the continuing development of laws related to the issues in this case. The District's insurer is paying the full amount of the settlement. No public tax dollars are being used to fund any monetary payment, and the District has not admitted to any wrongdoing. The District is pleased that its insurer has elected to resolve this matter so that the District can continue to focus on providing a high quality education to all students in a safe and welcoming environment."
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