A Superior Court judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of the Orono schools and against the parents of a transgender child who in 2007 was forced to stop using the girls bathroom and told to use a staff bathroom after the grandfather of a male student complained.
A transgender person is born one biological sex but identifies himself or herself as belonging to the opposite gender.
Justice William Anderson granted summary judgment to Riverside RSU 26, formerly the Orono School District.
“The court is not unsympathetic to [the girl’s] plight, or that of her parents,” Anderson wrote in his 26-page opinion. “It is no doubt a difficult thing to grow up transgender in today’s society. This is a sad truth, which cannot be completely prevented by the law alone. The law casts a broad stroke where one more delicate and refined is needed. Although others mistreated [the girl] because she is transgender, our Maine Human Rights Act only holds a school accountable for deliberate indifference to known, severe and pervasive student-on-student harassment. It does no more.