In 2007, transgender student Nicole Maines was forced to use a staff bathroom instead of the girls’ bathroom at her school after another student’s legal guardian intervened.
Now, she’s finally getting justice.
Maines has identified as female since the age of 2, and has been living exclusively as a girl since the fourth grade.
The school had agreed to let Maines use the girls’ bathroom, which she did without any interference until a male student followed her into the girls’ bathroom after being prodded by his grandfather, demanding that he, too, be allowed to use it.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled on Thursday that Maines’ rights were violated after the school reversed its decision and relegated Maines to the staff bathroom. It is the first ruling since a 2005 amendment to the Maine Human Rights Act that added protections for transgender students in schools.
Though the a lower court ruled in favor of the school district, Maines’ lawyers appealed, and she and her family feel vindicated by the court ruling.
“I’m extremely proud of our state and our leaders, of what they did,” said Nicole’s father Wayne Maines. “It sends a message that you can believe in the system.”