A court in Maine has ordered the Orono School District to pay $75,000 to a homosexual-advocacy group and allow self-identified "transgender" students to use the bathrooms of the opposite sex, ending a nearly seven-year legal battle that began after school officials tried to safely accommodate a boy living as a girl who was bullied in the girls' restroom, according to a report from lifesitenews.com
Wyatt Maines, now 17, began living as a girl in 3rd grade with the apparent blessing of the Orono School District, which allowed him to go by the name "Nicole" and use facilities meant for females even though he is biologically male. (He has since made the name change legal.)
But after a bullying incident in the girls' bathroom at Asa Adams Elementary School led the district to reverse its liberal policy for Maines' own protection, requiring him to use single-stall restrooms normally reserved for staff and assigning him a between-class adult minder to ensure his safety, he sued the school district with the help of his family and the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) legal group, the news site reported.
Maines and his attorneys said that by singling him out for added protection, the district brought him unwanted attention and made him feel like an outsider at the school.
Although the high court's ruling in Nicole Maines' favor largely settled his dispute with the school district, it left the two sides to work out the remaining details in Penobscot County Superior Court, the Portland Press Herald reported.
The lower court issued an order Nov. 25 that had been agreed upon by lawyers for Maines and the school district, prohibiting the district from "refusing access by transgender students to school restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity."
The order specifies that the school district must pay $75,000 to GLAD and Berman Simmons, a Portland law firm that also represented Maines, to cover legal expenses, related costs and a financial award.
The lower court initially supported the school administrators' decision, but the state's high court overturned that ruling after Maines appealed.
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