Transgender student suit goes to Maine high court

Associated Press
June 13, 2013

Lawyers for a transgender girl and an elementary school that required the fifth-grader to use a staff bathroom rather than the girls restroom clashed before Maine’s highest court Wednesday on whether her rights were violated, a case that lays bare the difficult decisions facing school administrators.

The family and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued, but a judge in the state’s Superior Court ruled that the Orono school district acted within its discretion by requiring her to use a staff bathroom after there was a complaint about the student using the girls bathroom.

After Wednesday’s hearing, the student, Nicole Maines, who is now 15 and attends a high school in southern Maine, said she would not wish her experience on anyone else and hopes that the justices hear her.

‘‘I hope they understood how important it is for students to be able to go to school and get an education and have fun and make friends, and not have to worry about being bullied by students or administration and be accepted for who they are,’’ the sophomore said.