Lawsuit filed against Anoka-Hennepin district alleges discrimination against transgender student

Lawsuit filed against Anoka-Hennepin district alleges discrimination against transgender student Photo: KSTP

February 25, 2019 09:13 PM

A lawsuit filed against the Anoka-Hennepin School District alleges the district violated the rights of transgender high school students. 

The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU and Gender Justice. 

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According to a release from Gender Justice, the district did not allow a transgender student who joined the boys swimming team to use the boy's locker room, even though he had been using it for months without issues. 


More from KSTP: 

St. Paul school settles with parents of transgender child in alleged discrimination case


Gender Justice said the student was forced to use "segregated changing facilities" that other students were not required to use. 

"Denying (the student) use of the same locker rooms as other boys deprives him of equal access to education, programming and extracurricular activities like sports," ACLU-MN Staff Attorney David McKinney said in the press release. "Instead of embracing gender-inclusive policies, the school board and school district chose to discriminate against him and ostracize him based on his gender identity."

The district issued the following statement Monday night: 

Anoka-Hennepin Schools is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning environment and to providing an education that supports all students and families, including transgender and gender nonconforming students. 

The use of restrooms and locker rooms are determined on a case-by-case basis. The goal is to ensure that all students feel safe and comfortable. Plans for accommodation for restroom and locker room use are made in consultation with school building administrators, the Title IX coordinator, and superintendent in compliance with state and federal law. This approach is consistent with guidance from the National School Boards Association and the Minnesota School Boards Association. Providing privacy for all students is an important consideration. 

Information regarding individual students is considered private student data and the district is not allowed to comment on such information. 

Anoka-Hennepin is confident our actions conform with state and federal law. 
 

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