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Oregon judge rules transgender students have right to use their chosen restrooms

Oregon judge rules transgender students have right to use their chosen restrooms
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A federal judge in Oregon ruled this week that transgender students have a right to use restrooms that match the gender they identify with.

Judge Marco Hernández of Federal District Court in Portland on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Dallas School District by Parents for Privacy last year seeking to eliminate a policy that previously allowed a transgender boy to use the boys’ locker rooms, restrooms and showers at Dallas High School, The New York Times reported.

Hernández said in his 56-page opinion that parents at the school who don’t think that transgender students should be able to use the bathrooms that correspond with the gender they identify with are welcome to pull their children from the school.

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“It is within (their) right to remove their children from Dallas High School if they disapprove of transgender student access to facilities,” Hernandez wrote, also noting that outlined in the state’s law is the transgender students’ right to be free of discrimination in school.

Hernández said that forcing transgender students to use restrooms that correspond with the gender they were assigned a birth is a violation of civil rights law.

In his opinion, Hernández also dismissed claims by students and parents who argued that other male students experienced “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, intimidation, fear, apprehension and stress produced by using the restroom with students of the opposite sex.”

“Forcing transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity would undoubtedly harm those students and prevent them from equally accessing educational opportunities and resources,” Hernández wrote.

The case began in 2015 when a student, who had been using female bathrooms, said he identified as a boy and asked to use the male facilities. The school put a policy in place to allow students to use the bathroom of the gender they identified with.

A group of parents sued to try to reverse the policy in 2017.

The ruling comes a year after the Trump administration announced it was rolling back protections gained under the Obama administration that allowed children to use school bathrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identities.