Ind. School District Settles With Trans Student

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 28 2011 9:00 PM ET

Lambda Legal has reached a settlement with the Gary, Ind., school district, in the case of a transgender student who was barred from attending prom in a dress in 2006, and the district has adopted LGBT-inclusive policies as part of it.

K.K. Logan, who at the time identified as a feminine male and now identifies as female, was physically blocked by the school principal from entering the West Side High School senior prom in May 2006. The principal was enforcing a school policy forbidding the wearing of clothing or accessories that “advertise sexual orientation” or “portray the wearer as a person of the opposite gender,” although a female student was allowed to attend wearing a tuxedo, according to Lambda.

Lambda sued on Logan’s behalf in 2007, contending that the policy violated First Amendment guarantees of freedom of expression and that barring Logan from the prom constituted gender discrimination. The settlement, which Lambda announced Friday, provides for monetary compensation to Logan, with the amount not made public, and includes changes to Gary public schools’ dress code and nondiscrimination policies. The policies will now include specific protections for LGBT students, and school administrators and board members will receive training on LGBT issues.

The revised policies “will help to ensure that other students don’t face discrimination because of who they are or what they wear,” said Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney in Lambda’s Chicago office, who handled the case with co-counsel from the Chicago law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. He added that the case should send a clear message to schools around the country.

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