PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President George W. Bush has placed an injunction on a school policy that prohibits a girl who identifies as a boy from using the mens’ restroom, declaring that under the law, she must be “treated like any other boy.”
Judge Timothy Corrigan ruled on Thursday that the St. Johns County School District has no reason to prohibit the student, who goes by the name Drew Adams, from using the boys’ restroom at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Adams, who began presenting herself as a boy in 2015 and obtained a double mastectomy, used the boys’ restroom at the school for six weeks—until another student lodged a complaint. Officials then advised Adams that she would need to either use the girls’ restroom or a gender neutral facility. Adams took the matter to court last year with the assistance of the homosexual and transgender advocacy group Lambda Legal.
During the trial, while Adams told the court, “I am a boy and I know that with every fiber of my being,” the principal of Nease High School testified that she does not consider the student to be a male.
“Everyone agrees that boys should use the boys’ restroom at Nease and that girls should use the girls’ restroom. The parties disagree over whether Drew Adams is a boy,” Corrigan outlined in his ruling.
“I can only answer that question with the evidence given to me at trial. Drew Adams says he is a boy and has undergone extensive surgery to conform his body to his gender identity; medical science says he is a boy; the State of Florida says so (both Adams’ Florida birth certificate and Florida driver’s license say he is a male); and the Florida High School Athletic Association says so,” he continued, noting that Adams uses the mens’ restroom at all other facilities.
Corrigan asserted that Adams is “no threat to the privacy” of other students, and said that while the urinals at the school could pose issue because they lack dividers, Adams always uses a stall since she can’t use a urinal.
“Admittedly, the boys’ restrooms at Nease—which Adams would use if he could—have urinals without dividers, so if someone chose to be a voyeur, there is the potential that a boy’s genitals could be viewed. But this is not a real concern for several reasons,” he wrote. “First, Adams cannot use a urinal and always uses a stall. Second, there is no evidence that a transgender boy is more likely to be curious about another student’s anatomy than any other boy. Third, any student engaging in voyeurism in the bathroom would be engaging in misconduct which is subject to discipline through the school district’s code of conduct.”
Corrigan said that any student who has concerns is free to use a gender-neutral restroom instead. He stated that while the school district should take the concerns of others students and their parents into consideration, “it may not do so at the expense of Adams’ right to equal protection under the law.”
“[T]he evidence is that Drew Adams poses no threat to the privacy or safety of any of his fellow students. Rather, Drew Adams is just like every other student at Nease High School, a teenager coming of age in a complicated, uncertain and changing world. When it comes to his use of the bathroom, the law requires that he be treated like any other boy,” he ruled.
It is not yet known whether the district plans to appeal. Lambda Legal says that Adams, who will be a senior in August, plans to go to medical school in pursuit of becoming a psychiatrist.
Scripture states in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment.” The Geneva Study Bible adds in its commentary, “For that alters the order of nature, and shows that you despise God.”