WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Kings Mountain High School sued by a student with a kidney disease who is denied access to school bathrooms.
- The student was denied permission to use the boy’s bathroom and bullied when he used the girl’s bathroom.
- The chair of the school board says after the lawsuit that they have made “an accommodation that they felt was in the best interest of the student at the time”.
A transgender high school student from North Carolina recently diagnosed with kidney disease is suing his school district over claims of discrimination that denied him entry to boys’ bathroom at school, the Shelby Star reports.
The lawsuit filed on Jan. 28 by a student who requests to remain anonymous names the Cleveland County Board of Education, Superintendent Stephen Fisher, and Kings Mountain High School principal Julie Rikard as defendants.
The plaintiff is reportedly a high school senior with kidney disease at stage 4.
The student identifies as male but was assigned a female body at birth. He and his mother allegedly notified the high school and requested that he be allowed to use the boys’ bathroom. Principal Rikard, however, denied the request, the suit claims.
The discrimination at play had the student actively stay away from using the girls’ bathroom because he did not feel comfortable. This purportedly affected the mental and physical health of the student.
“Because I am a boy I could not use the girls’ restroom comfortably and ended up avoiding the restroom for the entirety of the year,” he wrote in his sworn statement for court.
The student added that he was bullied on the few occasions he finds himself using the girl’s bathroom.
He was allegedly given permission to use the teachers’ bathroom upon starting his testosterone treatments in his sophomore year, the Star reports. This brought no solace for the student saying that he would get “looks” from teachers while using it.
The medical experts believe that the kidney disease that the student had been dealing with since his birth worsened due to the discomfort that forced him to avoid using the school bathrooms altogether.
The student’s attending physician wrote in the document submitted to court, the basis for the lawsuit:
“In addition to the escalation in his anxiety and distress that has resulted from Kings Mountain High School’s refusal to let John access the restroom on equal terms as other boys, John’s kidney function has also been compromised as a result of his lack of access to appropriate restroom facilities,”
The chair of the school board, Shearra Miller, tries to refute these claims when asked about the lawsuit in an interview with the Star that the district “made an accommodation for the student that we felt was the in the best interest of the student at the time.”
The temporary restraining order to be allowed the use of the boys’ bathroom as requested by the plaintiff was temporarily approved by the judge following the proceedings of the lawsuit filed.