Duval Schools sued over transgender student bathroom policy

Keitha Nelson reports. 5/17/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Duval Circuit Court is seeking to bar Duval County Public Schools from allowing transgender students to use bathrooms based on their gender identity.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Wryshona Isaac, demands declaratory and injunctive relief for her four school-aged children. Isaac argues that she and her children face a radical change in their environment because DCPS is violating her students' privacy rights.

Isaac goes on to demand in the filing that DCPS be barred from allowing students to use a bathroom or locker room based upon their gender identity.

Duval Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti spoke to First Coast News Monday regarding the new guidelines released last Friday by the White House, instructing all school districts in the country that receive Federal funding - 16,500 of them - to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

Vitti batted away questions about the new guidelines, arguing that Duval Schools has actually had a policy in place regarding transgender students and bathroom usage since 2008 and 2012.

That doesn't mean, however, that the school district has barred transgender students from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

"District administrators look at the individual students and their situations. And for some transgender students that means using a gender neutral bathroom or a private bathroom," Vitti said. "For other students it may mean using the bathroom of the other gender."

On Monday, Jason Fischer, a DCPS school board member named in the suit, released a statement via email decrying the White House's new guidelines and calling them an "intrusion."

"How we teach our kids is best left to families and local representatives who can be held accountable for results," Fischer said in the email.

We reached out to the district for a statement and spokesperson Laureen Ricks said, per district policy, they do not comment on pending litigation.

Read the full suit below:

 

Isaac lawsuit

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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