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Local Governments and School Districts Blog

BREAKING: Supreme Court to Weigh in on Transgender Restroom Access in Schools

Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry
Posted on October 28, 2016
Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday accepted a closely watched case over restroom access for transgender students. Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., will examine whether the Title IX education code’s prohibition on “sex” discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity. The U.S. Department of Education says that it does, and the Fourth Circuit did not agree. A ruling on transgender rights is likely to be closely divided at the Supreme Court, and the continued lack of a ninth justice means that a tie is possible. Should the Court fail to come to a decision, the Fourth Circuit’s interpretation would stand and the transgender student’s claim would fail.

For Wisconsin School Districts, this means that a definitive answer may be on the horizon regarding whether or not students must be allowed to utilize restroom facilities consistent with their gender identity, rather than the gender assigned at birth. Until this decision is announced, school districts should continue to work with legal counsel on specific transgender student related matters. If you have any questions about the education of transgender students in your district, please do not hesitate to contact Kevin Terry or Dean Dietrich.