ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is calling it a landmark decision. The State Court of Appeals ruled students must be allowed to use locker rooms that align with their gender identity.
The Deputy Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights says this decision means schools are now safer and more welcoming for transgender and nonbinary students across the state.
This ruling comes in a lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District and Board for discriminating against a transgender students, forcing him to use a separate locker room.
One transgender woman in Rochester says she wished this ruling could have passed when she was a student.
"My thought was basically just if I even hinted at what I knew I really was, I would just, that would basically be the end of it, I would absolutely be bullied and ostracized completely if not just beaten to death," Mallory Heath said.
Minnesota was the first state in the U.S. to prohibit gender identity discrimination - and the Department of Human Rights says today's decision honors that legacy. The Anoka-Hennepin School District is reviewing the decision and will consider its next steps - which could include an appeal, a possible settlement or going to trial.