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Transgender Student Sues Wisconsin School District For Discrimination



Lawsuit Alleges Guidance Counselors Told to Give Students Green Wristbands to Monitor Restroom Use

Ashton Whitaker, a high school senior in Wisconsin has filed a lawsuit against the Kenosha Unified School District, alleging that he has been denied access to the bathroom that matches his gender identity.

The lawsuit, filed by the Transgender Law Center, alleges that guidance counselors were instructed to issue green wristbands to transgender students at the school to make it easier to monitor their bathroom use.

It also claims that Whitaker has been denied access to the boys’ restroom and that staff were directed to monitor him and report him to administrators if he used the boys’ restroom. Teachers also intentionally used his female birth name.

“I worry about how I’m going to navigate the demands of senior year if I can’t even go to the bathroom without worrying that I’m being watched,” Whitaker told a local news station.

“School is no longer the safe and welcoming place that it used to be,” Whitaker said in a statement from the Transgender Law Center. “Being banned from the boys’ bathroom is a daily reminder that school administrators see me as someone who is so different from the other students that I’m not even allowed to share a bathroom with them.”

“I’ve basically stopped using the bathroom at school altogether, which makes it painful and difficult to get through the school day,” he says.

Whitaker was required to room with girls or alone on field trips.

Wisconsin currently does not have any law that would require Ashton to use the boys’ restroom, although one failed in the state legislature after being introduced in October. Wisconsin Rep. Jesse Kremer, who introduced the legislation, plans to resurrect the bill after waiting to see if changes are needed based on other cases of similar laws around the country.

Federal guidelines detail acceptable treatment of transgender students. Green wristbands are, obviously, not included in the guidelines. Schools that do not follow the guidelines could risk losing federal funding.

Whitaker ran for prom king at his school, after creating a petition and gathering students for a protest on his behalf. When students were asked back in April, one student said that some girls would likely be uncomfortable having Whitaker in the girls’ restroom because his classmates don’t see him as female.

Fox 6 News reports the school district in a statement said it “does not have a practice or policy requiring any student to wear a wristband for monitoring any purpose or for any reason whatsoever.” 


Image: Screenshot via Fox 6 News

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Eric Trump Has Been Refusing to Testify in Fraud Case – a Judge Just Ordered Him To



A judge has ordered Eric Trump, the middle son of President Donald Trump, to testify in the New York Attorney General’s fraud investigation into whether or not the Trump Organization improperly inflated the value of some of its properties.

Eric Trump has tried to delay his testimony until after the November 3 election. On Wednesday New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ordered him to comply with a subpoena. He has two weeks to do so, CNBC reports.

“We simply can’t delay compliance for another two months,” a lawyer for the New York Attorney General’s office told the judge.

One of the properties under investigation is the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York.

“The Financial Times last year noted that Trump purchased Seven Springs for $7.5 million in 1996, but valued it at more than $290 million in 2012. Forbes magazine in 2014 said that the entire property was worth less than $19.5 million, citing recent property sales and local realtors and assessors.”

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‘This Was a Black Lives Don’t Matter Ruling’: MSNBC’s Joy Reid Delivers Powerful Rebuke to Breonna Taylor Grand Jury



MSNBC anchor Joy Ann Reid slammed the grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor killing, declaring it a “Black Lives Don’t Matter ruling.”

A Louisville, Kentucky grand jury charged former police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree. As Reid noted, none of the charges are related to Taylor’s killing.

What former Officer Hankison “is being charged with was having extreme indifference to the lives of everyone,” Reid noted, but he is not being charged with extreme indifference to the life of Breonna Taylor.

“So what they’re saying is, officers, ‘Aim at the people in the apartment. As long as you don’t wantonly aim, so that the neighbors are endangered, you’re good.'”

“There’s nothing in this charge that mentions Breonna Taylor. There’s nothing in this charge that accounts for her life or the value of it.”

“There’s no charge here that says, ‘You need to at least care about, in the conduct of your investigation, the lives of the people in front OF YOU.’ It’s saying, ‘Ignore their lives, care about the neighbors, care about what’s through the wall, don’t shoot around because you might shoot, you know, the postman or someone nearby. But don’t worry about the lives.'”

“Police officers are trained in a use of force matrix, in which they are allowed to use a certain amount of force depending on the situation. There’s verbal force that you use, there’s physical force, it goes all the way to deadly force.”

“What the law is saying,” Reid continued, “is that the matrix doesn’t have any concern for the life of the person in front of you. So long as you, as an officer can come up with a justification for firing your weapon, you can kill at will. We need to think about as a society: Do we want police officers to have the right to kill at will? Do we want to be safe in our own homes, and know that police cannot enter?”

“We fought an entire revolution saying we didn’t want the British to be able to bust into our homes and start shooting, or quarter themselves in our homes. There was a Castle Doctrine for a reason. We need to decide whether we feel comfortable giving an officer the ability to kill at will, anyone in front of them as long as he aims, and as long as they’re dead. Because you don’t get charged, otherwise, right?”

“We’re not charging these officers. It’s not just about punishing them. It’s about setting a public policy baseline that says you just can’t kill people. Period. But apparently, in the state of Kentucky today, you can.”


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Grand Jury Announces Charges Against Only One Louisville Police Officer in Killing of Breonna Taylor



A grand jury has announced criminal charges against a single Louisville, Kentucky police officer in the March 13 killing of Breonna Taylor. The charges are against former officer Brett Hankison and include wanton endangerment.

No homicide charges were announced.

The charges are being described as insufficient by MSNBC’s Al Sharpton.

“It feels to me like these charges entirely delete the murder” of Breonna Taylor, MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid commented on the network after the charges were announced. “This was a Black Lives Don’t Matter ruling.”

“They can just shoot you,” she lamented.

“There’s nothing in this charge that mentions Breonna Taylor,” she continued. “There’s no charge that says you need to at least care” about the lives of others, Reid said.

The Nation’s Elie Mystal weighs in:

Live video:

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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