Supreme Court Declines Case on 'Transgender Rights' In School Policy
Controversial school policy allows trans students to choose restrooms
A high profile dispute over a school policy, allowing transgender pupils to choose which locker rooms and restrooms they want to use, will not be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to reports.
The controversial school policy that is in dispute was adopted by the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania in the 2016-2017, allowing transgender students to use school facilities based on their 'identity' rather than actual sex.
Following the court's declination to hear the case, the school district's policy remains intact.
At the center of the case is student, Joel Doe, who learned of the policy while changing in the men’s locker room at his school, during which he saw a female student wearing only a bra.
The student, along with others raised concerns with the school about the new policy but was told to make it seem “natural,” according to court filings.
According to The Washington Examiner: Joel Doe then filed a lawsuit challenging the school district’s policy and asked the courts to restore a previous rule allowing for single-sex, multi-user locker rooms and restrooms.
Doe’s lawyers argue the Boyertown Area School District violated the privacy rights of students and warned that “forcing a teenager to share a locker room or restroom with a member of the opposite sex can cause embarrassment and discomfort, particularly for students who have been victims of sexual assault.”
The federal district court, however, denied Doe’s request, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling.
The student, the appeals court said, has a “constitutionally protected privacy interest in his or her partially closed body,” but upheld the Boyertown Area School District’s policy because it “served a compelling interest — preventing prejudice against transgender students — and was narrowly tailored to that interested.”
The Supreme Court was poised to weigh in on a similar dispute involving transgender rights in 2017 after the Obama administration implemented a policy in May 2016 stating Title IX required schools to allow access to locker rooms and restrooms based on “an individual’s internal sense of gender.”
But the high court removed the case from its calendar after the Trump administration retracted the policy.