US: Trans student awarded $75,000 after school stopped her using female toilets

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A trans student in Maine has been awarded a settlement of $75,000, after a long-running discrimination case against her school.

Nicole Maines sued her school aged 11, when she was banned from using the female toilets after the grandfather of a fellow pupil complained.

She has been using female toilets with no issue up to that point – but was instructed to use the staff toilets instead.

Her family sued the school district, and won their case in January. It was ruled that the school district violated the Maine Human Rights Act by not respecting her gender identity.

Last week a lower court awarded Maines, now 17, her financial settlement. It will be shared between her family, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and Berman Simmons, the law firm who represented her.

Carisa Cunningham of GLAD told the Press Herald: “This was really just a technical conclusion of the case. A significant portion of that amount is going to the Maines family.

“This is an important decision in that it sets a precedent, and that is a building block for similar cases nationally.”

This was the fist time a state high court had ruled in favour of trans students using the correct toilets for their gender.

It led to the Penobscot County Superior order, which prohibits refusing trans students access to “restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity”.