July 26, 2016 at 10:11 am EDT | by Steve Charing
FreeState Justice sues on behalf of trans boy

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A Maryland advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a transgender students.

FreeState Justice attorneys filed a federal lawsuit July 19 against Talbot County Public Schools for its refusal to allow a 14-year-old transgender boy to use restrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with his gender identity.

In M.A.B. ex rel. L.A.B. & L.F.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County, FreeState Justice asked the United States District Court for the District of Maryland to find that the school system’s policy violates Title IX, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and the Maryland Declaration of Rights, and to order the school system to allow the student immediate access to restrooms and locker rooms consistent with his gender identity, on the same terms as all other students.

The student, who is required by federal court rules to be identified in court documents only by his initials, M.A.B., is a rising ninth grader at St. Michaels Middle-High School in St. Michaels, Md.

“Requiring a transgender boy to use a girls’ locker room or to use a separate and substandard facility that lacks benches, lockers, and showers violates equal access protections mandated under federal and state law,” said Jer Welter, M.A.B.’s attorney and FreeState Justice’s Deputy Director and Managing Attorney in a statement. “School systems in Maryland should know the law, and should be protecting students who are transgender from discrimination, not singling them out for separate and unequal treatment.”

Welter added, “Transgender students have an equal right to access all school facilities, including locker rooms. Schools in Maryland will be held accountable if they violate the law by stigmatizing and segregating transgender students.”

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