Former Ponte Vedra student argues Appeals Court must uphold transgender bathroom access
Drew Adams, right, and mother Erika Kasper argued in an Atlanta courtroom that the U.S.Court of Appeals must uphold transgender student access to restrooms matching their gender identity. Adams, a transgender man, previously attended Allen D. Nease High School.

Drew Adams
Drew Adams fought successfully for right to use boys' restroom in school.

LGBTQ advocated argued the U.S. Appeals Court must uphold rights of transgender students in a Florida school district.

The court proceedings followed a ruling last year the St. Johns County School Board must allow trans male student Drew Adams to use the boys’ restroom. While Adams has since graduated from Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, he appeared in court today to continue the fight.

“All I ever wanted from my school was to be treated like any other boy, and to have the same opportunity to thrive and learn as my peers,” Adams said in an Atlanta press conference.

“It’s frustrating and stigmatizing that I was singled out from my peers and treated as unfit to share common spaces with them. And now, on top of that, school officials insist on fighting in the courts to continue discriminating against transgender students like me. I hope my case sends a message to schools across the country that no transgender students should end up feeling stigmatized and humiliated like I did.”

After the school district lost its case in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, officials vowed to continue a fight. St. Johns Superintendent of Schools provided a statement to the St. Augustine Record that “we believed our policy was legal and one which struck a balance of the rights of all students.”

Under President Barack Obama, the Department of Education issued guidelines saying students must be allowed to use restroom and changing facilities matching their gender identity. But under President Donald Trump, those guidelines were rescinded.

However, a federal judge ruled that by districts not allowing Adams to use the boys’ restroom, schools violated Title IX protections blocking discrimination based on sex and violated equal protection rights.

Lamba Legal, an organization the fights for LGBTQ rights in court, has backed Adams’ fight in court. Attorneys for the group argued to Appelate judges the lower court ruling must be upheld.

“Today, we asked the Court to affirm the trial victory that ruled that Drew must be allowed to use the boys’ restroom,” said Tara Borelli, Lambda Legal counsel.

“The district court was very clear when it stated that the law requires that Drew be treated like every other boy. Discriminatory policies like the one here send a message that transgender students like Drew are somehow less deserving of the same safe, respectful learning environment than other children. As the district court found, schools must provide all students with equal treatment at school, including transgender students.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • gary

    December 5, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Everyone in that picture look creepy and far from normal! The supreme needs to knock this stupid idea down!

  • Prety

    December 5, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    What about the rights of the other students…go use the single stall bathroom….Bye girl…

  • Lee Anne Leland

    December 6, 2019 at 4:33 am

    “You can be male because you were born female, but you have 5-alphareductase deficiency and so you grew a penis at age 12. You can be female because you have an X and a Y chromosome but you are insensitive to androgens, and so you have a female body. You can be female because you have an X and a Y chromosome but your Y is missing the SRY gene, and so you have a female body. You can be male because you have two X chromosomes, but one of your X’s HAS an SRY gene, and so you have a male body. You can be male because you have two X chromosomes- but also a Y. You can be female because you have only one X chromosome at all. And you can be male because you have two X chromosomes, but your heart and brain are male. And vice – versa. No one should use science to justify bigotry. The world is way too weird for that.”

  • Seber Newsome III

    December 6, 2019 at 7:40 am

    To weird, you are way to weird!!!!! You are the sex that God gave you at birth.. People like you and the LBGTQ community is trying to confuse young children with programs like Storybook time at libraries and such.. You are the problem!! Leave children alone.

Comments are closed.


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