BANGOR, Maine (AP) – The Maine Human Rights Commission says the Orono School Department discriminated against a transgender child who was denied access to the girls’ restroom.

The commission’s ruling came in the case of a fifth-grader who was initially allowed to use the girls’ bathroom even though she’s biologically male. Educators later required her to begin using a unisex restroom after she was harassed by a male student.

Melissa Hewey, attorney for the Orono School Department, tells the Bangor Daily News that the decision may make sense on an intellectual level. But she says she’s not sure it “takes into account practicalities that face educators around the state.”

The human rights panel’s decision is not binding. But the case could be brought to court by the agency if conciliation efforts fail.

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