ACLU of Florida Files Complaint Over Transgender Student's Discrimination
Back in July, we told you about transgender nursing student Alex Wilson, who was told by administrators at Pinellas Technical Education Centers that she could not use the ladies' restroom and was forced to walk across campus to use a single-person's restroom instead. The school also allegedly threatened to press charges against Wilson if she continued to use the ladies' room, which would mean an end to getting a nursing degree.
Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of Wilson.
The complaint says the school is discriminating against Wilson on the basis of her sex in violation of Title IX of the Educations Amendments of 1972.
Wilson, 25, has been living as a woman for four years and is identified as female on her Florida driver's license and in the records of the Social Security Administration.
She's been attending classes at PTEC since November 2012.
But this past July, a classmate of Wilson's went to school administrators and complained to them that she was using the ladies' room.
Their response: Wilson needs to use another single-person restroom across campus in an administrative building or the school will press charges. The other restroom the school basically amounted to a storage closet with a toilet, stocked with cleaning supplies the school's janitors use.
According to an ALCU news release, a letter was sent to the superintendent of Pinellas County Schools on Wilson's behalf.
The ALCU's letter says that Pinellas Technical Education Centers' administration's treatment of Wilson amounted to sexual discrimination. The letter also called for administrators to "grant Alex immediate access to all sex-specific programs, activities, and facilities at PTEC consistent with her gender identity[...]."
PTEC has not responded to the letter, nor taken any serious actions to change the situation.
So the ACLU launched its complaint to the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights on Tuesday.
The complaint calls for the DOE to investigate the situation and to call the campus to change its policy toward Wilson.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.