The 15-year-old Frederick County Public Schools student and her mother, who sued the Board of Education and superintendent over its transgender policy, have requested to drop the lawsuit.
A judge will still need to sign off on the request to dismiss the case. The request is a motion to dismiss without prejudice, meaning the plaintiff could refile in the future.
The policy, which was passed in June, allows transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity and participate in sports and other activities consistent with that identity, and encourages a gender-neutral dress code.
The student and her mother, under the pseudonyms Mary Smith and Jane Doe, filed the lawsuit in August, arguing the policy violates the student’s right to bodily privacy, and the parent’s right to “care, custody, control, upbringing,” and information regarding her child.
The request for dismissal came one day after the Frederick County Teachers Association requested to intervene as a co-defendant to support school officials.
The 15-year-old student wants the case dismissed because of the stress it has caused, according to the motion.
“Plaintiff minor treats all people with dignity, and has never been and is in fact not discriminatory, and has instead sought to defend and protect her own privacy and speech rights,” the request states. “However, she does not believe that she can continue to prosecute her case without an increase in anxiety and fear of loss of her privacy.”
The plaintiff’s motion states that a Frederick News-Post article — which quoted an intervening defendant — caused the student to arrive home from school in tears.
The request said the student “is exposed to tremendous stress and potential humiliation for bringing and prosecuting this case in defense of her right to privacy.”
Two weeks ago, the Board of Education and the schools superintendent filed a motion to dismiss the case, which has not yet been ruled on.
The American Civil Liberties Union and James Van Kuilenburg, a transgender student at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, requested to intervene as co-defendants in the case that same day, which a judge had also not yet ruled on.
Superintendent Terry Alban said it was “premature to comment, as I’m sure our board is conferring with legal counsel.” Board of Education President Brad Young said the board is working on a response. “We are aware of the intent of the Plaintiff to file a motion to withdraw, and we will be consulting with our legal counsel regarding the appropriate response,” Young said.