Bias Watch

The students who sued their school for being too trans-friendly have given up

Activists and protesters with the National Center for Transgender Equality rally in front of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in Washington, after the Department of Education and the Justice Department announce plans to overturn the school guidance on protecting transgender students.
Activists and protesters with the National Center for Transgender Equality rally in front of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in Washington, after the Department of Education and the Justice Department announce plans to overturn the school guidance on protecting transgender students. Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Cisgender students who sued their school district over a trans-inclusive bathroom policy have withdrawn their complaint after several successive losses in court.

In 2016, four anonymous students in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, sued their school district because the school had a policy to recognize transgender students as their lived gender, claiming that the policy “constitutes sexual harassment and a violation of personal privacy.” They argued that the Constitution protects their right to a transgender-free locker room.

Related: LGBT employees ask Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to keep Title IX protections

The hate group Alliance Defending Freedom took up their cause and sued in federal court, but the students lost in 2018. The court rejected their suggestion that transgender students use separate facilities because that 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.”

Then they lost their appeal. And the Supreme Court refused to hear their case.

They filed a motion in June for a stay, but that was denied earlier this month. So now they’re withdrawing their claim, and the lower court’s ruling in favor of the transgender-inclusion policy stands.

“This major court win is a historic moment for transgender rights in Pennsylvania,” Jason Goodman of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress told Philadelphia Gay News.

“We hope school districts throughout our commonwealth take note: the courts back you supporting trans student inclusion. The Boyertown Area School District has done the right thing and now can be celebrated for doing so. The federal courts that evaluated the Boyertown case understand that safeguarding inclusive practices is critically important.”

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