Trans Rights are Human Rights -- Yes, in High School too.

The Anoka-Hennepin School District is at it again. Even though they’ve been sued for not protecting LGBTQ students from bullying and harassment and until last year, they were under court supervision stemming from that lawsuit, the school district has been discriminating against a transgender high school student. Gender Justice is representing Jennifer Halpaus, the mother of the student, in bringing a charge against Anoka-Hennepin to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for sex discrimination. The high school has denied her son access to the locker room that matches his gender identity.

The Minnesota Department of Education has provided recommendations on how to protect transgender students from discrimination in their Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students. Nonetheless, Anoka-Hennepin is arguing that they should be able to accommodate the preferences of anti-LGBTQ parents and students above the needs of trans students by segregating trans kids from the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

Click HERE to read our letter to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights explaining why this practice is illegal and harmful. We break down why an old Minnesota Supreme Court precedent from Goins v. West Group is out-of-step with our current understanding of gender identity and why Anoka-Hennepin shouldn’t be able to hide behind this discriminatory decision.

Since the Goins decision in Minnesota in 2001, courts all over the country have considered the question of whether schools and employers must allow transgender individuals to use facilities consistent with their gender identity and come to a different conclusion than the Minnesota Supreme Court did. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Unlike the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Title IX does not explicitly protect people based on gender identity. It prohibits discrimination solely “on the basis of sex.” 20 U.S.C. § 1681. Over the years, courts have recognized that sex discrimination includes gender identity discrimination. With that understanding in place, multiple federal circuit courts have ruled that transgender students must be treated consistent with their gender identity for restroom and locker room use.
— February 16, 2018 letter to MN Dept of Human Rights