Ash Whitaker, a 16-year-old student at the George Nelson Tremper High School in Wisconsin, has sued his school district after school administrators allegedly asked him to wear a bright green bracelet to identify his status as a transgender boy.
The teen lived as a girl until middle school. The problem started when he transitioned from a girl to a boy and started using the boys' bathroom despite being cautioned not to. The school wanted him to use the bathroom for the gender listed on his records.
In fact, the school wants him to use the girls' restrooms or a single-user, gender-neutral restroom.
"Both of the restroom options offered by defendants were discriminatory, burdensome or unworkable," the suit says. "A.W. was deeply distressed by the prospect of using the girls' restrooms, as it would hinder and be at odds with his public social transition at school, undermine his male identity, and convey to others that he should be viewed and treated as a girl."
The lawsuit also includes the complaint that the teachers did not use the proper pronouns when addressing the student and had security guards ensure that he used the “right” bathroom.
The green bracelets are allegedly used to help monitor which bathrooms were being used by transgender students.
The lawsuit also states that the response left Whitaker "overwhelmed, helpless, hopeless and alone."
Whitaker tried not using restrooms altogether, but it only worsened his pre-existing medical conditions and stress.
According to a declaration by the U.S. Department of Justice, transgender students are protected under Title IX and can use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states that no one participating in education programs that receive federal funding is protected from being discriminated against on the basis of sex.
The school administrators, however, disagree.
"Well, we've never had a student who identifies as male but was born female," holds the school.
This isn’t the first time Ash Whitaker is in the news though. Earlier this year, he made headlines when another contradiction arose over his desire to be the prom king and the school refused.
"My principal rejected that, saying I am not a boy," he said.
He even started an online petition.
"I've known him since before his transition and been with him through the transition, and I've been with him for all of it as he's been fighting to do this," said Alyssa Raetzman, who organized a rally of students supporting Whittaker’s demand to run for a prom king.
"It's just completely unfair and disgusting how our school system is acting about this. We are asking for answers and they not giving them to us, and that's why we're here," Raetzman added.