(Reuters) - An 11-year-old transgender Ohio child must be allowed to continue to use the girls' restroom while her school district appeals a court ruling in her favor, a U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday.
The child, a biological male who identifies as female, has been using the girl's restroom at a school in the Highland Local School District northwest of Akron since a federal court ruled in late September that district administrators could not prevent her from doing so.
The case began in June, when the school district sued to stop an order by the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the restrooms of their choice.
A U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Ohio denied the school district's request to overturn the administration's rule, and issued a temporary restraining order requiring the school district to comply.
The school district appealed and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit refused to grant that appeal.
In its ruling on Thursday, the court pointed out that the child had attempted suicide multiple times before being allowed to use the girls' restroom, and that her stress level had diminished since the ruling went into effect.
Making her switch again to the boys' restroom or to return to using the nurses' restroom as she had before, would put the child, who was not named, at risk again, the court said.
The school district did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Calif.; Editing by David Gregorio)