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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Transgender Students May Sue

May 23rd, 2016

A transgender student in South Carolina was recently told by school administrators to use the girls’ bathroom, even though he identified as male. During a pep rally, he used the boys’ bathroom anyway, which resulted in a suspension the following day. The student enrolled in classes online instead of returning to school, and is now threatening legal action against Horry County Schools in South Carolina.

The student in this case was born female, but resisted wearing girls’ clothing and began showing signs of identifying as a male at the age of four. By seventh grade, he was wearing boys clothing. Based on his appearance, girls in his class began complaining when he used the girls’ rest room. His family and the school agreed to let him use the boys’ restroom so everyone would feel more comfortable.

At some point, a teacher found out that the student was born a female and complained to administrators about him using the boys’ bathroom. The school then decided that he had to use the girls’ restroom, or use the bathroom in the nurse’s office. Because the nurse’s office was about a ten-minute walk from his classroom, he was losing valuable class time walking back and forth, so he began using the boys’ bathroom again. One day, a teacher followed him and gave him a “look” when she saw him exiting the boys’ bathroom. He was suspended the following day for using the “wrong” bathroom.

Recently, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed a similar issue. A transgender teen in Virginia claimed that the Gloucester County School Board violated Title IX, a federal law banning sex discrimination in schools, when it prevented him from using the boys’ restroom. The court ruled in his favor, and the nine federal district courts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas must follow suit. It is unclear how the lower courts in these jurisdictions will interpret the decision regarding future gender identity cases.

North Carolina has recently passed a controversial law prohibiting transgender people from using the public restroom consistent with their gender identity. The Fourth Circuit’s decision may impact this legislation.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Represent Victims of Transgender Discrimination

Discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status or sexual orientation, violates Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964. Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have extensive experience fighting for LBGT issues, and a successful track record of litigating for our clients. If you believe that you are a victim of transgender discrimination at school or at work, call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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