MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — A Wisconsin student who was born a female but identifies as male has filed a federal lawsuit against her school district for being denied use of the boys’ restroom and for continuing to be referred to by her feminine name.
Ashton Whitaker, 16, is suing the Kenosha Unified School District No. 1 and Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis over the matter, which her attorneys contend violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The complaint, filed by the Transgender Law Center and Relman, Dane and Colfax PLLC, alleges that officials at Tremper High School told Whitaker that she must either use the girls’ restroom or a single occupancy restroom in the school office.
The following year, she surreptitiously began using the boys’ restroom, but was spotted by a teacher months later and again instructed to use the girls’ restroom or the lavatory in the office.
Whitaker then sought to avoid using the restroom at all at school, but said that limiting her fluids caused medical issues. She continued, however, to use the boys’ restroom at school in defiance of the district policy.
She also takes issue that officials required her to room with the girls during a trip to Europe as part of the Tremper High School student orchestra.
“My peers and many of my teachers know me as a boy, and have been incredibly supportive,” Whitaker said in a statement released by the Transgender Law Center. “But the school administrators have made my life miserable every school day since this spring, when they told me I could no longer use the boys’ restrooms, which I’d been using with the support of my classmates for months.”
She contends that officials proposed to require transgender students to wear green wristbands in order to monitor restroom use.
“I worry about how I’m going to navigate the demands of senior year if I can’t even go to the bathroom without worrying that I’m being watched,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker had taken on her school earlier this year when she was prohibited from running for prom king, a designation exclusively held by boys. She launched a petition over the matter and the district ultimately relented.
While online documents show that the district will likely change its restroom use policy to accommodate students like Whitaker, it says that “some of the factual allegations are patently false.”
“The district does not have a practice or policy requiring any student to wear a wristband for monitoring any purpose or for any reason whatsoever,” it wrote in a statement. “The district has worked diligently with transgendered students and their families to address their unique needs and accommodations, including the family named in the suit.”
However, not all those who have struggled with gender identity believe that it is right to support and affirm a person’s desire to live as those of the opposite sex.
As previously reported, Walt Heyer, a 75-year-old man who obtained a sex change operation in the 1980’s to live as a woman for eight years before reverting back to his biological gender, now leads a ministry in which he shares his story with the world of how Christ redeemed his life and gave him hope.
“Nobody’s ever born a transgender,” he told the Daily Mail last January. “They’re manufactured as a result of something, a developmental childhood issue that has yet to be determined for many people.”
“All of them have some level of depression, and we’re not treating them,” Heyer lamented. “We’re just cutting off body parts and giving them a new name and a new gender.”
“God designed man; He designed women,” he also said in a video recorded last year. “God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that.”