March 14, 2013
GLAD has filed an appeal in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of our client Susan Doe, a transgender girl who experienced discrimination and harassment at her Orono school.
GLAD initially filed the lawsuit, known as Doe v. Clenchy, after officials at an Orono elementary school denied our client the use of the girls’ restroom and other facilities and restricted her participation in school activities. The school had previously allowed Doe to use the girls’ restroom without incident until one of her male classmates began making it an issue with coaching from his grandfather. Eventually, the parents were forced to withdraw their daughter and her twin brother from the Orono school system and move them to another part of the state where they could go to school quietly and safely. This appeal comes after summary judgment was granted to the Orono school system in the Trial Court in November 2012.
“Our client was made an outcast by school officials over the course of two years simply because of who she is, in violation of Maine anti-discrimination law,” says GLAD Senior Attorney Ben Klein. Adds Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, “Under Maine law, a transgender girl – whom the school acknowledged is a girl – needs to be able to live consistent with her gender. The school acknowledged that Susan could not otherwise progress in her academic development.”
Maine has a statewide law prohibiting discrimination against people based on gender identity and expression in all areas, including public education and public accommodations.