Even as a similar case unfolds in Colorado, the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders filed an appeal brief last week in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of a "a transgender teen girl whose Orono, Maine elementary and middle schools
removed her from the girls’ restroom because of her transgender status
and forced her to use a staff-only, non-communal restroom in isolation
from her peers."
In November 2012, a judge found in favor of the Orono schools, stating that the school "did not itself harass" the student [referred to in court documents as Susan Doe], nor did it show "deliberate indifference" toward the girl's harassment by other students.
GLAD claims that "Susan's exclusion from the shared girls’ restroom made her feel isolated and abnormal...It called into question the legitimacy and acceptability of her female gender identity by the very people—school personnel—upon whom she had relied to affirm it in the educational environment. The exclusion from the girls’ restroom increased Susan’s anxiety, which interferes with learning."
According to the appeal, "Susan Doe is exactly the person the legislature intended to integrate seamlessly into the mainstream life of a school when itamended the [Maine Human Rights Act] in 2005 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation, which includes a person's gender identity. Everyone in the school-peers, teachers, administrators-knew her to be a girl. The plain language of the MHRA's gender identity provisionsprohibits a school from treating a transgender girl differently from all other girls. It reflects the legislature's determination that a transgendergirl, such as Susan Doe, cannot receive equal access to an education unless she is treated the same as every other girl in all aspects of schoollife."