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ACLU Sues Missouri School District, Claims Trans Student Not Being Allowed to Use Female Restroom Caused Suicide Attempts

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri is suing the Platte County School District and its school board for not allowing a teenage biological male to use female restrooms.

The lawsuit claims that the bathroom policy caused the 16-year-old student, identified only as R.F., to attempt suicide twice.

The school district’s policy states that students and staff must use the restroom corresponding to their sex at birth, but gender-neutral bathrooms are available — which the ACLU acknowledged in the suit.

R.F. had refused to adhere to the district’s policy and faced a range of disciplinary actions ranging from verbal warnings to out-of-school suspension.

NPR reports, “Dustan Farr, the student’s father, said the Platte County School District’s policies caused his daughter severe depression, leading her to attempt suicide twice.”

“It’s just not right,” Farr said. “I could have lost my child, and I don’t want someone else to have to feel what I did.”

According to the complaint, the ACLU claims that the district’s bathroom policy violates Missouri’s Human Rights Act and Equal Protection Clause of the state’s Constitution.

“Forcing transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their sex designated at birth is not only discrimination but dangerous and causes serious harm to Missouri’s youth,” said Gillian Wilcox, Deputy Director of Litigation at the ACLU of Missouri, in a press release. “Both through the constitution and by statute the government, a school in this case, is prohibited from discriminating against the people it is supposed to protect on the basis of either their sex or disability.”

“The Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodations based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age (in employment only), and familial status (in housing only),” explains the state’s Department of Labor website.

A report from The Lion points out that the ACLU has acknowledged that the Human Rights Act does not cover “gender identity,” only sex.

“But in another area on its website, the Missouri chapter of the ACLU seems to acknowledge gender identity is not covered by Human Rights Act, admitting that for 20 years in a row, it has supported an amendment to redefine ‘sex’ under the act to include gender identity and sexual orientation,” the report explains. “The proposed legislation is known as the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA).”

The passage explicitly contradicts the claims in their lawsuit.

“MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected categories, including race, sex, and national origin,” said the ACLU on their website. “The ACLU of Missouri fully supports MONA.”

MONA would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the law because they are not currently listed.

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