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By: Lily Crespo Esq.
What happened? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that a Florida school district was wrong to deny trans male student Drew Adams access to the boys’ restroom.
“A public school may not punish its students for gender nonconformity,” Judge Beverly Martin wrote in the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling in Adams v. School Board of St. John’s County. “Neither may a public-school harm transgender students by establishing arbitrary, separate rules for their restroom use.
The record developed in the District Court shows that the School Board failed to honor Mr. Adams’s rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX.
What is the background of the case?
Educator takeaway: The arena of transgender bathroom use continues to be a contentious source of legal challenges. Notably, this case is one of the first applications of the United States Supreme Court’s historic June 15 decision about LGBTQ workers’ rights. The ruling for Drew Adams, cited the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which found that sex discrimination in the workplace, banned under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Eleventh Circuit arrived at the same reading of Title IX of the Education of 1972, which bans sex discrimination in education.
As you consider these and other issues, we recommend you speak with your school lawyer or contact Bea, Kevin, Megan, Beth, and Lily at 406-542-1300 to discuss these issues.