Juliet Evancho, Jackie Evancho's Transgender Sister, Wins Lawsuit Against School Board

Juliet Evancho, Jackie Evancho's Transgender Sister, Wins Lawsuit Against School Board


"The Plaintiffs appear to the Court to be young people seeking to do what young people try to do every day-go to school, obtain an education, and interact as equals with their peers", Hornak wrote.

The high school seniors - Juliet Evancho, Elissa Ridenour and a transgender boy, referred to only as A.S. - filed a federal lawsuit in October, saying the district's policy was unconstitutional and discriminated against them.

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, who represents the transgender student as staff attorney for Lambda Legal, said the court ruling is a "huge win" for the plaintiff students who "will be able once again to use the bathroom that matches who they are". It did not explain how or why such rights of other District parents are to take precedence over the same rights of Plaintiffs' parents, who very much desire that Plaintiffs use restrooms conforming to their gender identities.

Hornak concluded the students were likely to succeed on a constitutional claim that they had been denied equal protection under the law.

If students are genuinely uncomfortable or feel threatened, schools can potentially put a signup sheet in front of the bathroom so it is clear who is using it and children can opt to either wait or use another bathroom.

Obama's directive was based on an interpretation of the Title IX of Education Amendment Acts of 1972, which expanded sex discrimination to include discrimination based on gender nonconformity, determining that a school's failure to protect a student from gender-related harassment is a violation of Title IX.

Superintendent Joseph Mancini of the Ellwood City School District said he is also following the issue closely although the district has not dealt with any transgender issues yet.

In their joint statement, Schniederman and Elia reminded districts of New York's Dignity for All Students Act, which expressly requires all school districts in the state to prohibit discrimination and harassment, on school property or at a school function, on the basis of a student's gender identity or expression. Moreover, Hornak found the reality of the three trans students' lived experience of their gender identity far more compelling than the article's attempts to sow doubt about what the science says.

Trump, however, believes that transgender issues should be left up to the states to deal with. Jackie Evancho, who was "very disappointed" by the administration's decision, pleaded with the president to meet with her and her sister so she could "enlighten" him on the subject of transgender rights.

In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that allowed transgender K-12 public school students to choose the restroom and locker room that corresponded with their gender identity. Grimm's case is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.

"While it's disappointing to see the Trump administration revoke the guidance, the administration can not change what Title IX means", said Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union who is lead counsel for Grimm. "There was no problem before, and we are confident there will be no problem now".

  • Jack Replman