A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to prevent the Mukwonago Area School District in Wisconsin from enforcing a policy that prohibited an 11-year-old transgender girl from using female or gender-neutral bathrooms. The judge ruled that the district’s policy violated Title IX protections for transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students.
Transgender Student’s Rights Upheld in Wisconsin Court
The Mukwonago school board’s policy, adopted in late June, required all students to use restrooms based on their “original sex assigned at birth.” However, an 11-year-old transgender girl, who had been using female bathrooms without incident since third grade when she moved to the district, faced denial of access to these facilities starting in May 2023.
Lawsuit Seeks Compensation and Injunction
The student’s mother sued the school district, seeking a permanent injunction and compensation for damages, including “economic and educational losses, humiliation and embarrassment, emotional distress, and reputational harm.” The court’s preliminary injunction allows the student to use female bathrooms while the case is ongoing.
Legal Precedent Supports Transgender Rights
The judge cited a previous Wisconsin case from 2017, where a transgender high school boy was denied access to boys’ restrooms. The court upheld the boy’s right to use facilities in accordance with his gender identity, providing a legal basis for the current ruling.
Implications for Transgender Rights Nationwide
This ruling may signal potential legal challenges for school districts across the nation attempting to restrict transgender students from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity, possibly violating Title IX protections. Numerous states have enacted laws banning transgender students from using facilities based on their gender identity.