This article is taken from the Bangor Daily News, and was written by Abigail Curtis.
Although the article is a year old, I found it interesting and relevant to issues today.
On 6/29/2009 the Maine Human Rights Commission ruled that the Orono School Department discriminated against a transgender child by denying her access to the girl’s bathroom. The discrimination first started in October of 2007, when the child was starting fifth grade at Asa Adams School. Prior to that time the child was able to use the girl’s bathroom even though she was biologically male. In one episode the child was followed into the girl’s bathroom by a male student who started to harass her calling her “faggot” and stalking her. After a second encounter with the male student occurred he was suspended and removed from the girl’s class. During that time the school officials told the child she had to use a single stall faculty bathroom, and the other end of the school, it was at that point when the girl’s parents decided to take the matter to the Maine Human Rights Commission.
The grandfather of the suspended boy Paul Melanson filed a complaint saying that not allowing his grandson to use the girl’s bathroom or the faculty bathroom was a violation of the grandson’s right to public accommodation.
Paul Melanson stated “It ticks me off that you’re letting a kid run the whole system.”
Melanson began to encourage Maine mother’s to protest the decision made by the Human Rights Commission, he believes it’s unfair to both boys and girls.
“Little boys do not belong in the little girls room, and vice versa…This isn’t just about my kid. A lot of children have come up to me and said that this isn’t right”. Complained Melanson.
The Human Right’s Commission stated that the Asa Adams School did not discriminate against Melanson’s grandson unlawfully “because of his sexual orientation” which is heterosexual male.
Melissa Hewey attorney for the Orono School Department said the commission made the right decision in this particular case.
The Human Rights Commission hopes that the school an look at this situation as a opportunity for education rather than a problem.
I think the positive outcome of this case will pave the way for similar cases in other school districts.