Monday, August 10, 2020

Bigots lose again: St. Johns County School Board loses appeal on transgender student Drew Adams' bathroom rights. (Tampa Bay Times)

 Significantly encouraged by the late bumptious bigoted St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee Chair WILLIAM KORACH, operating without legal basis, our rebarbative reprobate retromingent repulsive St. Johns County School Board has lost twice, in front of four (4) federal judges.  

My friend and mentor, former Florida National Guard Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps Col. Elizabeth Masters (Ret.), rightly predicted that the School Board would lose its appeal and waste our money, in 2018.   Our foolish, hate-filled School Board wrongfully appealed from the order of the Honorable of U.S. District Judge Timothy J, Corrigan.

To money-wasting transphobic Dull Republicans -- and snobbish, snollygoster School Supt. and School Board members (sorry to be redundant): will you please be kind as to dip into your own pockets, and kindly pay the expected court-ordered attorney fees?

Or expect ordinary people to subsidize your transphobic, homophobic Dull Republican prejudices?

When will you fire the School Board's foolish St. Augustine and Tallahassee "education lawyers?"

FRANK D. UPCHUECH, III falls asleep in School Board meetings, and has been School Board lawyer for so long that UPCHURCH, BAILEY AND UPCHURCH can't even provide the start date/

When his foolishness gets the School Board in trouble, more money is paid to SNIFFEN & SPELLMAN, a snooty law firm in Tallahassee, 

Like hogs at the trough they waste our money,  Again, it's our money,

They are losers, taking our money in pursuit of losing unconstitutional cause.  Please fire them.  Now.

Thanks to all the lawyers who've worked to defend our GLBTQIA rights, 2005-2020, including Lamba Legal Defense Fund and the other plaintiffs' lawyers defending Drew Adams' right to go to the boy's room at Nease High School.

Footnote: I was honored to share the Band Gazebo stage with plaintiff Drew Adams, prevailing plaintiff, at Pride Day last year.  In 2005, another federal judge, Hon. Henry Lee Adams, Jr.,  ordered Rainbow flags to fly June 8-13, 2005, on our historic Bridge of Lions in honor of Pride Week, defeating the 3-2 St. Augustine City Commission vote fourteen days earlier, 

Three cheers for our St. Augustine and St. Johns County, Florida GLBTQIA+ community, undefeated in litigation since 2005.

Florida student wins transgender rights case in federal appellate court

Drew Adams spent years fighting the St. John’s County School Board so that transgender students would be able to use restrooms that match their gender identity.
Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2019 in Atlanta. [RON HARRIS  |  AP]
Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2019 in Atlanta. [RON HARRIS | AP]
Published Yesterday

Transgender students must be allowed equal access to restrooms that match their gender identity, a federal appellate court ruled Friday.

It is a battle that Drew Adams says he spent his high school career fighting against the St. John’s County School Board. When he started his freshman year at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra in 2015, he identified as a boy and used the boys’ bathroom. An anonymous tipster alerted school officials and he was told he could only use gender-neutral restrooms.

In 2017, Adams sued the school board in the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville with help from Lambda Legal, a nonprofit LGBTQ legal organization.

Adams’ case was the country’s first trial involving a transgender student’s equal access to restrooms. He won in 2018, and again on Friday.

“I am very happy to see justice prevail, after spending almost my entire high school career fighting for equal treatment,” said Adams, now a 19-year-old student at the University of Central Florida, in a statement posted Friday on

“High school is hard enough without having your school separate you from your peers and mark you as inferior. I hope this decision helps save other transgender students from having to go through that painful and humiliating experience.”

RELATED: Misgendered and mistreated in jail: A Pinellas transgender woman shares her story

In that 2018 decision, U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan wrote that “the evidence is that Drew Adams poses no threat to the privacy or safety of any of his fellow students. ... When it comes to his use of the bathroom, the law requires that he be treated like any other boy.”

The school board appealed in 2019. In December, Adams and his mother Erica Kasper attended oral arguments at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

On Friday, the 11th Circuit issued a 2-1 decision in Adams’ favor written by U.S. Circuit Judge Beverly Martin. She cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s June Bostock vs. Clayton County decision, which found that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“A public school may not punish its students for gender nonconformity,” Martin wrote. “Neither may a public school harm transgender students by establishing arbitrary, separate rules for their restroom use.

“The evidence at trial confirms that Mr. Adams suffered both these indignities.”

Lambda Legal attorney Tara Borelli said in a statement that the organization is glad to see the courts affirm “the inherent dignity and worth of transgender students.”

“The court sent a clear message that schools must treat transgender students with the same dignity and respect as any other student,” she said. “The trial court was correct when it ruled that the law requires that Drew Adams be treated like every other boy and be allowed to use the boys’ restroom.”

In her statement, Adams’ mother recalled what her son had to endure as a teenager.

“It was so painful to watch our son suffer discrimination at the hands of his school, when the only thing he should have to worry about is getting a good education,” Kasper said. “I hope all schools across the country are paying attention to what we went through and to this decision.”

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