Judge to visit high school in transgender bathroom lawsuit

Federal judge must decide if student can use boys' room at Nease High

District Judge Timothy Corrigan listens to arguments in hearing on Drew Adams' lawsuit
District Judge Timothy Corrigan listens to arguments in hearing on Drew Adams' lawsuit (Sketch by Steve Bridges)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The federal judge hearing a lawsuit over whether a transgender St. Johns County student should be allowed to use the boys bathroom at Nease High School said he will visit the school to see things for himself.

Drew Adams has been told he can use a gender-neutral bathroom on campus but cannot use the boys restroom, despite identifying as a male since 2015.

Adams' family has sued the school district, claiming discrimination.

One of the arguments Adams has against the district's bathroom policy is that there are fewer gender-neutral bathrooms on campus and they are not conveniently located.

“As most students would be a five-minute walk to the bathroom, I would have a 10-minute or 15-minute (walk),” Adams said in June, when the lawsuit was filed. “And if there’s a line, I would even have more time away from class."

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan said that he will visit Nease High School to see for himself where the gender-neutral bathrooms are located compared to other bathrooms on campus.

A representative from the Broward County School District was called to testify Tuesday about that district's policies related to transgender students in similar situations.

Adams' lawyers are arguing:

  • That he is diagnosed with gender dysphoria, in which gender at birth comes into conflict with the gender someone identifies as.
  • That St. Johns County school policy makes that condition worse.
  • That its policy violates federal discrimination laws based on gender.

News4Jax will continue to follow the court case and will provide an update when Corrigan reaches a decision.

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