In Wisconsin, a transgender student will be receiving $800,000 from the Kenosha Unified School District after the student sued for discrimination. Ash Whitaker, a former student at Tremper High School, sued the school district for not allowing him to use the boy’s bathroom. The school threatened Ash with disciplinary action if he decided not to follow their rule. In June 2017, after already graduating from high school, the Seventh Court Circut of Appeals decided against the school district’s decision to deny him to use the boy’s bathroom.
The Kenosha United School District decided to revoke its US Supreme Court appeal that would challenge the court’s decision. Ash Whitaker’s legal team comes from the Transgender Law Center in the case against the school district. Not only did the settlement result in Ash getting paid, he can now use the men’s restrooms at Tremper High School. It seems a little late considering Whitaker is no longer a student of the school. Sadly, the courts ruling means that Whitaker is the only person the decision will apply to. Which is no doubt entirely ridiculous.
The lawsuit stems from more than just the school merely denying Whitaker the access to the bathroom. Furthermore, they would have other students wear bright green labels as some form of bathroom monitor. Consequently, the school also wouldn’t allow Ash to run for prom court and refused to call by his preferred pronouns. This discrimination caused Ash to be isolated from his fellow students and eventually led him to develop severe anxiety and depression.
Whitaker will end up with around $150,00 after about $650,000 will go towards his legal team. This case is obviously about a lot more than the money. Hopefully, Ash’s story opens the door for more options for transgender people going through similar struggles.