WASHINGTON — A federal judge said Thursday that she has “no idea” if a transgender teenager is transgender.
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of Washington, D.C., said in her order that she had not reviewed a transgender child’s petition for an injunction to block the removal of a school resource officer.
She wrote that she would likely issue the injunction if the petitioner could show that “the State of Washington is not sufficiently aware of transgender students’ mental health or needs, is not adequately protecting transgender students from bullying, and is not providing the resources needed to address the concerns.”
In the case of a transgender student, Illston said, “the school is not required to protect the student or make a reasonable accommodation.”
Illston also cited a statement from the state’s attorney general, who said last month that the school district has been “out of compliance” with Title IX, the 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools.
The judge also found that the petition “is in a procedurally sound and consistent position,” meaning it was “in the best interest of the school, its students and the State of WA.”
The judge did not rule on whether the petition is “frivolous.”
It was sent for oral argument on Monday, and it is scheduled to be heard Wednesday.
The Washington Department of Education is not the only one challenging the school’s removal.
In a lawsuit filed last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington filed a federal lawsuit that said the school was violating the U.S.’s Equal Protection Clause when it removed the transgender student from the school.
The lawsuit says the transgender boy was forced to take sex-reassignment surgery after he refused to take the “wrong” restroom and was barred from attending a school function.
The ACLU also contends the school discriminated against the transgender by denying him admission to the school in a school building that was designed for gender-neutral bathrooms.