A Minnesota charter school agreed to pay a family $120,000 after the parents of a 5-year-old transgender boy accused the school of violating their child’s rights by failing to protect him against bullies, CBS reported Tuesday.
The civil discrimination lawsuit charges Nova Classical Academy with gender discrimination. The parents argued that the school didn’t do enough to prevent the alleged jabs and bullying their son experienced because he wanted to act and dress like a girl, according to CBS Minnesota.
The boy’s father said the teachers initially tried to be accommodating, but the school’s leaders got in the way. To save time and money, the two sides settled rather than going to court, with the school agreeing to gender neutral uniforms, policy changes to allow students who don’t identify as their birth gender to express themselves, and staff training on how to best accommodate transgender students, in addition to paying $120,000 to the family.
“They in some ways had no choice,” said Lisa Stratton, the family’s attorney and lead counsel for the Gender Justice advocacy group. “Those things are not small and that kind of awareness creates a welcoming environment and we’re really excited that’s going to be happening at Nova.”
The Minnesota Department of Education also released a toolbox of model transgender policies in late July, saying students should be able to use whichever restroom they want.
“It’s best practice for schools to do that training on bullying, on harassment, on the various non-discrimination laws on an annual basis,” school attorney Laura Booth said after the settlement.
The transgender boy no longer attends Nova Academy. Neither CBS Minnesota nor Lisa Stratton responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.
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