A trans teen in Pennsylvania won a major victory for LGBTQ rights on Monday after her school district agreed to rescind its discriminatory bathroom policy following a heated legal battle.
Lambda Legal announced earlier this week that it had reached a settlement with the Pine-Richland School District, ending an anti-transgender policy that forced trans students to use either single-stall facilities or bathrooms corresponding with the gender they were assigned at birth.
“This is a victory for transgender students everywhere and sends a clear warning to school districts with anti-transgender bathroom policies,” Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan stated. “Although Juliet, Elissa and A.S. have now graduated, their courage has opened doors for current and future transgender students at Pine-Richland and elsewhere who will no longer be barred from using the bathroom that matches who they are. The settlement affirms that transgender students, like all students, deserve to be respected for who they are.”
Juliet Evancho, sister of singer Jackie Evancho, rocketed into the national spotlight last September after the Pine-Richland School District voted to institutionalize the discriminatory policy. She became the face of Lambda Legal’s lawsuit against the school district, and her sister became high-visibility figure after singing the national anthem at Trump’s inauguration.
The Pine-Richland School District’s settlement comes several month after President Donald Trump rescinded an Obama-era directive for public schools to allow transgender and gender-nonconforming students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.