Yesterday, the Supreme Court made several decisions about a batch of cases seeking review including Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, a case challenging a school district’s policy of allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender while also allowing all students the option of using private facilities. Instead of taking on the case, the Supreme Court decided to let a lower court ruling supporting the inclusive policy stand, meaning that the Boyertown Area School District and others like it can continue to implement policies protecting trans students.
The lower court had previously found that forcing transgender students to use separate restrooms or locker rooms would “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.”
“This is an enormous victory for transgender students across the country. Boyertown’s schools chose to be inclusive and welcoming of transgender students in 2016, a decision the courts have affirmed again and again,” Ria Tabacco Mar, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, said in a statement after the Supreme Court issued their decision. “This lawsuit sought to reverse that hard-won progress by excluding transgender students from school facilities that other students use. That would have increased the stigma and discrimination that transgender students already face. Thankfully, today’s announcement allows schools to move forward with policies that support transgender students.”
A former student who identifies as trans from the Boyertown Area School District, Aidan DeStefano, noted that the policy would help students like him feel safe in school.
“By the time I graduated high school, I was using the boys’ bathroom and participating on the boys’ cross country team. I felt like I belonged and had the confidence I needed to continue with my education,” DeStefano said in a statement. “I’m glad the Supreme Court is allowing schools like mine to continue supporting transgender students.”