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Family of transgender child brings discrimination case against private school

[JURIST] The parents of eight-year-old transgender student Nicole Brar brought a discrimination suit against Nicole's private school, Heritage Oak Private School [school website], located in Yorba Linda, California, and the school's parent company, Nobel Learning Communities [corporate website] Wednesday. The complaint, filed by the pro-bono organization Public Counsel [advocacy website], alleges [complaint, PDF] that the school made Nicole wear a boy's uniform, called her by the wrong name, prohibited her from using the girls' restroom, and did nothing to prevent her from being bullied by the other students, causing Nicole emotional distress. The complaint also says that California's Unruh Civil Rights Act [text] prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and that this act applies to private schools if they are for-profit. A spokesperson for Nobel Learning said [Orange County Register report] that Nicole's family rejected the accommodations that the school had proposed.

Transgender rights have been an important topic in the US. In July the Texas Senate advanced [JURIST report] a bill that would require people to use the restroom corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates or drivers' licenses. Earlier in July New Jersey signed [JURIST report] a law directing schools to recognize transgender rights. In March 11 states withdrew [JURIST report] a lawsuit against the US government after Obama's bathroom guidance was overturned. The bathroom guidance was overturned [JURIST report] by the Trump administration in February. A Pennsylvania judge ruled [JURIST report] in February that transgender students could use the bathroom of their choice.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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