Univ. of Pitt. Settles Lawsuit with Transgender Student
Changes in university policy were the only details of the settlement disclosed.
The University of Pittsburgh announced policy changes on March 29 as part of a lawsuit settlement with a former student who is transgender.
The student had filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging the school violated Title IX by banning him from male locker rooms and eventually expelling him.
Buzzfeed reports that the school will begin allowing students to use bathrooms and other gender specific spaces that correspond with their gender identity. The university will also begin offering gender-neutral housing and establish a group on campus that will advise administrators on transgender issues.
Seamus Johnston initially brought the lawsuit after school officials banned Johnston from the male locker room, filed disorderly conduct charges against Johnston and eventually expelled him in 2011.
The university argued in court that Johnston had a female birth certificate and that other students had voiced privacy concerns about Johnston in the boys’ lockers room. Johnston then defied orders to stay out of the male locker room, school officials claimed.
The federal trial followed a ruling in the university’s favor last year in a lower court.
The settlement comes at a time when states and federal courts are dealing with an increasing number of cases that deal with gender identity accommodations in schools.
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