Oklahoma Senate Bill 615 passed the Oklahoma legislature and was quickly signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt in May. The law requires all pre-K through 12th grade public schools and public charter schools to restrict the use of multiple occupancy restrooms and other facilities at school based on the sex listed on an individual’s original birth certificate. It further requires each school board and charter school governing board to create a policy for discipline of those who violate the restriction and requires OSDE to penalize schools that do not comply with this requirement with a five percent reduction in state funding. The complaint charges that S.B. 615 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, by discriminating on the basis of sex, gender identity, and transgender status.
Bridge v. Oklahoma State Department of Education, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on behalf of three students, two of whom are high school students in Oklahoma City-area school districts and one student who is attending a public charter school in Oklahoma City. In addition to the OSDE, the lawsuit also names: Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister; six other members of the Oklahoma State Board of Education: State Attorney General John M. O’Connor, Noble Public Schools, Moore Public Schools, Oklahoma City Public Schools, and Harding Independence Charter District, Inc. The plaintiffs include Andy Bridge, 16, a senior at Noble High School just outside of Norman, OK, and his parents Aysha Prather and Eli Bridge. The two other plaintiffs – a high school student and a middle school student – and their families are filing anonymously.