The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana today filed a lawsuit against the Valparaiso Community School Corporation, after employees denied Jasper Wisecarver, a transgender student at Valparaiso High School, his right to use the restrooms consistent with his gender identity.
Denying Jasper and other transgender students access to the correct restrooms violates both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681(a).
“Trans kids deserve the same rights as anyone. None of us chose to be trans, or decided to make life more difficult for ourselves,” said Jasper. “Young trans kids are just trying to exist, and often don’t feel like they can stand up for their rights. But instead of school administration being supportive, administrators are making life more challenging for already vulnerable students.”
“The law is clear that denying a student their right to use the correct restroom is discrimination,” said Stevie Pactor, ACLU of Indiana Attorney. “Schools should be safe places for kids, and the refusal to allow a student to use the correct restroom can be extremely damaging.”
This is one of three ongoing lawsuits filed by the ACLU of Indiana against several public-school districts. Simultaneously the Indiana legislature is attempting to pass a bill that would ban trans girls from school sports, despite similar laws being blocked by courts in several other states.
“This pattern of excluding trans students from school activities and facilities is being encouraged by our lawmakers,” said Kit Malone, ACLU of Indiana Advocacy Strategist. “Trans kids already face enough barriers without having to face the additional emotional hardships that arise from such discrimination. 1 in 10 trans Hoosier students will drop out of school because of mistreatment. Our state must do better.”