After facing a lawsuit over its treatment of a kindergartener who identifies as transgender, a nationally recognized public charter school in Minnesota has agreed to adopt a far-reaching inclusionary policy.
The school also agreed to pay the child’s parents $120,000.
In the settlement, Nova Classical Academy promised to establish a gender inclusion policy that doesn’t allow parents to opt out “based on religious or conscience objections,” and also “not [to] call parents’ or guardians’ attention to the policy.”
The agreement ends a 16-month legal battle between the charter school and David and Hannah Edwards, parents of a child who was born male but presents as a girl.
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The Edwardses filed a complaint against Nova Classical Academy, in St. Paul, Minnesota, claiming the school “failed to protect their child and other gender nonconforming and transgender students at Nova from persistent gender-based bullying and hostility.”
They also claimed the school “denied their child the ability to undergo a gender transition at Nova in a safe and timely way.”
Their lawsuit, filed March 24, 2016, said the school violated two laws, the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the St. Paul Human Rights Ordinance.
Gender Justice, a nonprofit legal and advocacy organization for LGBT individuals, represented the Edwardses in the suit against Nova Classical Academy.