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Parents of 3rd grade transgender student sue state over Tennessee school restroom law

The lawsuit was filed against the Williamson County Board of Education and the Tennessee Department of Education in the District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff identified as DH is a transgender girl who started third grade this week. DH was assigned a boy at birth and since the age of six has identified as a girl.

According to the lawsuit, the parents approached their child’s school to discuss the transition. “When AH and EH met with the elementary school to find out how to support DH in his social transition, the elementary school initially agreed to use the pronouns “she/her”, but did not want to make a public announcement to the students. “, says the lawsuit. .

After the discussion, the School Facilities Act of 2021 was signed by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, and went into effect.

Under Tennessee’s restroom law, a person can seek damages if school officials allow a transgender person into a bathroom or locker room that doesn’t match their assigned gender. birth when others are present. The law also allows them to sue if they are required to stay in the same dormitory as someone assigned the opposite sex at birth who is not a family member.

“At this time, DH’s parents made several attempts to speak with various school administrators about DH’s transition and how best for the elementary school to support DH. At this time, however, the The elementary school administration was unable to provide DH with the support she needed to complete her social transition because the School Facilities Act had come into effect, preventing DH from using the restrooms corresponding to her school identity. gender, unlike the rest of her non-transgender classmates,” the lawsuit states.

After the law was enacted, DH’s school accommodated the child by allowing him to use one of four single-occupancy toilets, which the lawsuit says ‘reinforces the differential treatment’ of DH

“By singling out transgender students from disadvantaged treatment and explicitly enshrining discrimination against transgender people in state law, the School Facilities Act violates the most basic guarantees of equal protection by under the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,” the lawsuit alleges. .

The defendants are named Williamson County Board of Education; Jason Golden, Superintendent of Williamson County Schools; the Tennessee Department of Education and Penny Schwinn, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education.

CNN has contacted the attorneys representing DH and her parents.

CNN also contacted Williamson County Schools and the Tennessee Department of Education, whose spokespersons declined to comment on ongoing litigation. CNN has not received comment on his requests to all members of the Williamson County School Board, County Schools Superintendent Jason Golden or state Education Director Penny Schwinn.


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