A federal judge has ruled in favor of permitting three transgender students, including Jackie Evancho’s sister Juliet, to use the school restroom that aligns with their gender identity.
Jackie Evancho sang the National Anthem at Donald Trump’s inauguration; Juliet missed the performance because of “prior engagements” relating to her lawsuit against a Pittsburgh-area school board over her right to use women’s bathrooms.
In his temporary injunction, US District Court Judge Mark R. Hornak wrote that the students –Evancho, Elissa Ridenour and a minor with the initials A.S. – “appear to the Court to be young people seeking to do what young people try to do every day-go to school, obtain an education, and interact as equals with their peers.”
Hornak continued, “The District’s enforcement of Resolution 2 as to their use of common school restrooms does not afford [the students] equal protection of the law as guaranteed to them by the Fourteenth Amendment,” Billboard reports.
In September 2016, the Pine-Richland High School board passed a policy that required all students to use the bathroom for the gender found on their birth certificate. Lambda Legal, an organization fighting for LGBQT rights, sought for an injunction halting the policy, which Hornak delivered, CBS Pittsburgh writes.
“Not withstanding the Trump Administration’s misguided and cruel actions last week, the court today found that the school’s policy barring transgender students from the restroom that matches who they are violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said. “Such policies are not only wrong, they are illegal. The rescission of a guidance by the Trump administration cannot change that.”
The judge’s ruling comes a week after Donald Trump rolled back federal protections for transgender students. Jackie Evancho, who was “very disappointed” by the administration’s decision, pleaded with the president to meet with her and her sister so she could “enlighten” him on the subject of transgender rights.
Speaking to Good Morning America last week, Juliet Evancho said of her issues at school, “I’ve had things thrown at me. I’ve had people say pretty horrible things and the unsafe environment is just very unhealthy so I feel like Donald Trump needs to know that being in such an unsafe environment won’t do any good not only for the transgenders and the LGBTQ community but as well as everyone as a whole.”