A federal judge ruled late last week that a transgender student in a Florida high school may use the men’s restroom during the upcoming school year.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan said Drew Adams, who was born female, will be permitted to use the men’s restroom at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, when classes resume later this month, The Associated Press reported.
Prior to Corrigan’s ruling, school administrators cited district policy, requiring the teenager to use a gender-neutral restroom. But the judge said in his decision that the law requires Adams to be treated “like any other boy.”
“Drew Adams is just like every other student at Nease High School, a teenager coming of age in a complicated, uncertain and changing world,” Corrigan wrote.
This coming school year, Drew Adams, a 17yo transgender student in St. Johns Co. will be able to use the boy’s bathroom.
— Amber Krycka (@AmberANjax) July 27, 2018
Adams said the ruling will restore a sense of normalcy to life.
“Now I can focus on my college applications,” the student said, “without this weight on my shoulders.”
Adams came out as transgender about four years ago, underwent gender reassignment surgery and began hormone treatments.
Adams’s mother filed a lawsuit against the St. Johns County School Board last year, asking for a court injunction on the school policy requiring her child to use either the women’s restroom or one of the gender-neutral bathrooms.
During a three-day trial in December, Adams told the court, “I am a boy and I know that with every fiber of my being.”
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, who represented the student, said Corrigan’s ruling “will show to other school districts across Florida and across the country that they better watch out, and they can’t discriminate [against] transgender students.”
“Otherwise,” he continued, “they will be subject to lawsuits because they will be violating the Constitution and federal civil rights law.”