Monday, June 24, 2013

A Skirmish Won, The Battle Goes On

Out in Colorado a skirmish was won with the Colorado Rights Division ruled in favor of Coy Mathis in her fight against the Fountain-Fort Carson School District; however, my guess is that the school district will appeal to the court system and that the battle will continue all the way up to the state’s highest court.
Rights Unit Finds Bias Against Transgender Student
The New York Times
Published: June 23, 2013

In a sharply worded ruling, the division concluded that the Fountain-Fort Carson School District needlessly created a situation in which the student, Coy Mathis, would be subject to harassment when it barred her from the girls’ bathroom even though she clearly identified as female.

Telling Coy “that she must disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive,” Steven Chavez, the division director, wrote in the decision.
We see the same thing here in Connecticut where school districts force the student to either use the bathroom of their birth gender and the faculty bathroom. One school district that refuses to let the student use the bathroom of their gender identity claims that they don’t have to because the law does not specifically address bathrooms. But the school district totally ignores the fact that there were numerous amendments introduced to limit bathroom use to the persons birth gender and they all were defeated.

In Maine last week (I wrote about it here) the Supreme Judicial Court heard a case similar to the Colorado case. I have it from a reliable source that they are “positively optimistic” of a favorable outcome judging by the questions that the justices asked. However, one of the judges recused his/her self from the case and my source believes that the judge would have been favorable to the student side of the case.

The Washington Times said,
During Wednesday’s session, the justices, led by Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley, covered “safe harbor” policies for schools, the meaning of “sex” and “sexual orientation,” whether Maine lawmakers had been clear in their legislation, and whether the case was moot, since the plaintiff family left the school district several years ago.
It would be a shame if the court determined that the case was moot because the family moved out of town. That would mean that if you harass someone enough for them to move that they couldn’t sue for discrimination anymore.
The article goes on to say…
In her arguments for the Maineses on Wednesday, Jennifer Levi, an attorney with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, said the school should not have removed “Susan” from the girls’ bathroom because “another student misbehaved.”

The parents may have agreed to an alternative bathroom plan in theory, but because the school overruled the parents in applying it, the school illegally segregated the child, said Ms. Levi. The Maine Human Rights Act forbids discrimination in public accommodations and in education based on sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression.
We see this a lot where the victim is the one to be punished by being transferred or forced to use another bathroom and the bully gets off scot free.

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