Third Circuit Affirms Rights of Transgender Students
In the latest of a long string of victories for transgender students in federal courts, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals emphatically rejected an anti-transgender lawsuit seeking to force a Pennsylvania school district to ban transgender students from the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
In its decision, the Third CIrcuit found the Boyertown School District’s policy affirming the rights of transgender students “fosters an environment of inclusivity, acceptance, and tolerance.” To do otherwise, ruled the court, would “very publicly brand all transgender students with a scarlet ‘T’ and they should not have to endure that as the price of attending their public school.”
As most courts have, the Third Circuit also found “Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students in school facilities.”
“The School District’s policy not only serves the compelling interest of protecting transgender students, but it benefits all students by promoting acceptance,” the court affirmed.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, gave the following response:
“Policies that exclude transgender students alienate some of our most vulnerable children and set a terrible model for their peers. As this powerful ruling makes clear, schools have a responsibility to all students to set a tone of acceptance and inclusion under their roofs. Anything short of giving transgender children the same rights as all students is not only illegal but immoral.
We applaud Boyertown Area School District for defending the rights of transgender students and setting a standard by which all schools should judge themselves. Under a federal administration that is outright hostile to the rights of transgender people, we need all educators to stand up for schools that enable all students to thrive.”