On June 30, 2023, Relman Colfax filed this gender discrimination lawsuit against the Mukwonago Area School District (MASD) and its superintendent, Joe Koch, for denying Jane Doe #1, an eleven-year-old transgender girl, access to girls’ restrooms at school. (The girl’s name is being withheld to protect her privacy.) The complaint raises claims under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause.
Plaintiff Jane Doe #1 is transgender and has presented and been recognized as a girl at home since the age of three, and at school since first grade. After moving to the Mukwonago area in third grade she continued using the girls’ restroom without incident for nearly three years. As alleged in the Complaint, towards the end of her fifth-grade year Defendants began working to deny Jane Doe #1 access to girls’ restrooms at school, ultimately ordering her to use only boys’ restrooms or a gender-neutral restroom in an administrative area at the District-run summer school program, monitoring her bathroom use, and threatening disciplinary action for continued use of the girls’ restrooms. These efforts culminated in the adoption of a formal policy requiring students to use restrooms based on their “original sex assigned at birth.”
Relman Colfax sought emergency relief on behalf of Jane Doe #1, and on July 6, 2023, Judge Lynn Adelman agreed that she is likely to prevail under precedent in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit established in 2017 in a case called Whitaker, brought by Relman Colfax against the school district of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Judge Adelman then entered a preliminary injunction on July 12, 2023, forbidding MASD—located about 30 miles from Milwaukee—from enforcing any policy or practice that would deny the student access to girls’ restrooms and from taking any disciplinary action against her for using girls’ restrooms.
The lawsuit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The Case Team
The Relman Colfax litigation team includes Alexa Milton, Glenn Schlactus, Gemma Donofrio, Emily Curran, and Nick Abbott with paralegal assistance from Emma Block and Kelis Johnson. Victoria Davis Dávila and Robert (Rock) Theine Pledl of Davis Pledl S.C. are co-counsel on the matter.
Jane Doe #1, a minor, by her mother and next friend, Jane Doe #2 v. Mukwonago Area School District, et. al., No. 2:23-cv-876-LA.
News & Updates
In the Media
- PBS, 07.14.2023
- Wisconsin Examiner, 07.10.2023
- CBS-58, 07.10.2023