Transgender Student Nicole Brar Is Suing Heritage Oak Private School For Refusing To Let Her Be Herself


On Aug. 2 alongside her parents, 8-year-old Nicole Brar, a transgender student in Orange County, took a strong stand against discrimination. Last week, her parents filed a lawsuit against Brar's private Orange County School for refusing to recognize her gender and for inflicting emotional distress, among other things. While Brar, a minor, could have chosen to remain anonymous in the lawsuit, according to the Los Angeles Times, she wanted to let people know exactly who she is.

The lawsuit, filed last week by Nicole's parents, Priya Shah and Jaspret Brar, alleges that Heritage Oak Private Education would not use her female name or pronoun and refused to let her use the girls' restroom or wear the girls' uniform. According to the Los Angeles Times, the family is arguing that the school violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act of California that makes discrimination of sex or sexual orientation illegal. They are also claiming that the school falsely advertised that it was non-discriminatory, and that it intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

The legal filing's introduction paints a heart-rending picture of what that emotional distress looked like for Brar.

In response to the lawsuit, Heritage Oaks released a statement.

Nikki started out the school year attending Heritage Oak as a boy, but during the several months leading up to the end of the year, transitioned into a girl. The family claims that the school was aware that Nicole was thinking about transitioning during the school year. When she returned for school in January after the holiday break, the family says that the school insisted she use a staff restroom rather than the girls.

She has since started homeschooling and will be joining a public school in the fall for the new school year.