Nicole Maines, Transgender Student, Goes To Maine High Court

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/nicole-maines_n_3429077.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

By DAVID SHARP
06/12/13

BANGOR, Maine — Maine’s highest court heard arguments Wednesday over whether transgender students can use the bathroom of their choice, and the girl at the heart of the case said she hoped justices would recognize the right of children to attend school without being “bullied” by peers or administrators.

Nicole Maines, now 15, watched lawyers argue over whether her rights were violated when the Orono school district required her to use a staff bathroom after there was a complaint about her using the girls’ bathroom.

Maines said after the hearing in Bangor that she hopes the Supreme Judicial Court will ensure no one else experiences what she went though.

“I hope they understood how important it is for students to be able to go to school and get an education and have fun and make friends, and not have to worry about being bullied by students or the administration, and to be accepted for who they are,” said Maines, who now attends a high school in southern Maine.

Her family and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued in 2009 over the school’s actions, but a state judge ruled that the school district acted within its discretion. Maines is a biological male who from an early age identified as a girl.

At issue is whether the school violated the Maine Human Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. State law also requires separate bathrooms for boys and girls in schools.

Melissa Hewey, lawyer for the school and school district, said afterward it should be up to the Legislature to clarify the issue.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/nicole-maines_n_3429077.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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