Minnesota Human Rights Department Sues School District for Making Transgender Student Use ‘Enhanced’ Locker Room

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is suing a school district that built an “enhanced” locker room to accommodate the privacy needs of a biologically female trans-identified student who’s competing on the boys’ swim team.

According to the litigation against the Anoka-Hennepin School District and school board, the student in question joined the boys’ swim team at Coon Rapids High School in the 2015-2016 school year and was allowed to use the boys’ locker room without any issue.

But over the summer of 2016, the district built an “enhanced privacy” boys’ locker room at Coon Rapids that the student was required to use. The enhanced locker room is an entirely separate facility from the main boys’ locker room and the lawsuit alleges that the student was threatened with discipline for not using the locker room.

The lawsuit was filed last month in state court against the school district by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and Gender Justice, accusing the school district of violating the Minnesota constitution’s right to due process and equal protection as well as the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, represented by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, filed to join the lawsuit, claiming that the school district’s actions “stigmatized” the student and created a “hostile education environment.”

“We filed to join this lawsuit because equal access to public schools for all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, is a civil right protected by the Minnesota Human Rights Act,” Minnesota Department of Human Rights Deputy Commissioner Irina Vaynerman said in a statement. “School districts should have policies and procedures that enable all students to thrive, free from discrimination. We stand proudly with transgender and gender nonconforming students across the state.”

The Department of Human Rights reports that students have filed multiple claims of discrimination against the Anoka-Hennepin School District related to their sexual orientation and gender identity. The school district was sued in 2011 following a string of LGBT student suicides. It was claimed that the district perpetuated a harmful and toxic environment for LGBT students.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith