Ash Whitaker came out as transgender to his parents in the eighth grade and to “a few close friends” during to his freshman year. Then, at the start of his sophomore year he formally came out to “all of his teachers and peers.” The Whitakers say that the trouble began later that year.
Kenosha Unified School District instructed guidance counselors to have Ash Whitaker, a 16-year old transgender boy (who recently, after a petition was created, was allowed to run as prom king), and “any other transgender students at the school” wear “bright green wristbands” so that the school could “more easily monitor and enforce [their] restroom usage.”
But the most alarming allegations in the suit are claims that the school essentially created a surveillance program to control Ash’s bathroom use. Melissa, who taught at Tremper, claimed that school administrators sent an email to security guards in April 2016 “instructing them to notify administrators if they spotted any students who appear to be going into the ‘wrong’ restroom.”
The next month, Melissa claims, Ash’s guidance counselor introduced the troubling “bright green wristband practice” for transgender students. The Whitakers believe this policy was aimed directly at Ash but they were allegedly told that it would apply to “any other transgender students at the school” as well.
“Ash felt like his safety would be even more threatened if he had to wear this visible badge of his transgender status,”