MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Human Rights joined Tuesday a lawsuit against the state’s largest school district, alleging that it discriminated against a transgender student.
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and the St. Paul nonprofit Gender Justice filed a lawsuit against Anoka-Hennepin School District.
The lawsuit alleged discrimination against a Coon Rapids High School student over the school board’s decision in 2016 to a create separate locker room for the transgender student alone to use. The student eventually switched schools.
“We filed to join this lawsuit because equal access to public schools for all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, is a civil right protected by the Minnesota Human Rights Act,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Deputy Commissioner Irina Vaynerman, in a statement. “School districts should have policies and procedures that enable all students to thrive, free from discrimination.”
Responding to the initial lawsuit, Anoka-Hennepin said that it’s committed to providing a respectful environment for all students, adding that use of restroom and locker room policy is determined on a case-by-case basis.
The district maintains that its approach is consistent with guidance from the National School Boards Association and the Minnesota School Boards Association.